CDC: Mining, construction top industries for smokers

October 5, 2011

Atlanta – Cigarette smoking is most prevalent among workers in mining, hotel and food services, and construction, according to an analysis published in the Sept. 30 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers, using 2004-2010 data from the National Health Interview Survey, said about 30 percent of workers in each of those industries smoke. Conversely, 9.7 percent smoke in the education services industry, which had the lowest percentage of smokers.

Overall, smokers account for 19.6 percent of workers, with the habit most prevalent among people who lack a high school diploma and health insurance, live below the poverty line, and are 18-24 years old.

Although smoking is down 42.4 percent since 1965, CDC said declines have slowed in recent years.

The report recommends employer interventions, such as cessation programs covered by health insurance, and smoke-free workplace policies.