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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Changes in Self-Reported Smokefree Workplace Policy Coverage Among Employed Adults— United States, 2

Wednesday, November 22, 2017  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Stephen Babb, Benmei Liu, Brandon Kenemer, Carissa Baker Holmes, Anne M. Hartman, James T. Gibson, Brian A. King.
Changes in Self-Reported Smokefree Workplace Policy Coverage Among Employed Adults— United States, 2003 and 2010–2011.
Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2017, 1–9 doi:10.1093/ntr/ntx202

The workplace is a major source of exposure to secondhand smoke from combustible tobacco products. Smokefree workplace policies protect nonsmoking workers from secondhand smoke and help workers who smoke quit. This study examined changes in self-reported smokefree workplace policy coverage among U.S. workers from 2003 to 2010–2011. Data came from the 2003 (n = 74,728) and 2010–2011 (n = 70,749) waves of the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey. Among employed adults working indoors, a smokefree workplace policy was defined as a self-reported policy at the respondent’s workplace that did not allow smoking in work areas and public/common areas. Descriptive statistics were used to assess smokefree workplace policy coverage at two timepoints overall, by occupation, and by state. The proportion of U.S. workers covered by smokefree workplace policies increased from 77.7% in 2003 to 82.8% in 2010–2011 (p < .00001). The proportion of workers reporting smokefree workplace policy coverage increased in 21 states (p < .001) and decreased in two states (p < .001) over this period. In 2010–2011, by occupation, this proportion ranged from 74.3% for blue collar workers to 84.9% for white collar workers; by state, it ranged from 63.3% in Nevada to 92.6% in Montana. Conclusions: From 2003 to 2010–2011, self-reported smokefree workplace policy coverage among indoor adult workers increased nationally, and occupational coverage disparities narrowed. However, coverage remained unchanged in half of states, and disparities persisted across occupations and states. Accelerated efforts are warranted to ensure that all workers are protected by smokefree workplace policies. This study assessed changes in the proportion of indoor workers reporting being covered by smokefree workplace policies from 2003 to 2010–2011 overall and by occupation and by state, using data from the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The findings indicate that smokefree workplace policy coverage among U.S. indoor workers has increased nationally, with occupational coverage disparities narrowing. However, coverage remained unchanged in half of states, and disparities persisted across occupations and states. Accelerated efforts are warranted to ensure that all workers are protected by smokefree
workplace policies.


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