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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Factors Associated with Cessation Activities amongst a Multiethnic Sample of Transit Workers


Introduction: Transit workers are a blue-collar occupational group with elevated rates of smoking despite access to free or low-cost cessation services available through their health insurance as a union-negotiated employee benefit. Little is known about the influences on cessation participation in this workforce. Aims: The purpose of this study is to analyse the factors associated with past-year cessation activities amongst a multiethnic sample of transit workers. Methods: Cross-sectional tobacco surveys were completed by 935 workers at an Oakland, California, USA-based public transit agency. Data from 190 current smokers (68% African American; 46% female) were analysed. Adjusted odds ratios were calculated to identify factors associated with past-year cessation activity. Results: Approximately 55% of smokers stopped smoking for one day or longer during the past year in order to quit. Nearly half reported that the most common barrier to quitting was, 'Not mentally ready to quit because I like smoking'. Workers in the contemplation/precontemplation stage for intention to quit were less likely to have engaged in cessation activities than those in the action/preparation stage (AOR = 0.34). Frequency of coworker encouragement for quitting was positively associated with past-year cessation activities (AOR = 3.25). Frequency of insomnia symptoms was negatively associated with cessation activity participation (AOR = 0.34). Conclusions: Most transit workers who smoke made a past-year quit attempt. Gaining insight into factors associated with participation in cessation activities can aid worksite efforts to promote cessation and reduce tobacco-related disparities.

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