Studies find benefit in stop-smoking programs targeted for working-class groups

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Occupation is significant factor in whether you smoke

Researchers found that among both whites and blacks, smoking rates are highest among those in working-class, non-supervisory occupations, including blue-collar and service jobs, and those with less education and lower income. In all socioeconomic groups, men were more likely to smoke than women. “Among adults, occupation is a useful category for understanding where the risk of smoking falls heaviest,” says the study’s lead author, Elizabeth Barbeau of Dana-Farber. “It’s clear that smoking is more prevalent among working-class compared to supervisory and professional occupations in all racial and ethnic groups. This finding underscores the need to consider occupational class along with race/ethnicity, gender, education, and income in setting priorities for smoking-cessation programs.” Moreover, the researchers found, while smokers in all socioeconomic groups try to quit the habit at about the same rate, people in supervisory and professional occupations, and those with more education and higher incomes, tended to be more able to quit than those with fewer socioeconomic resources. This was true across all racial/ethnic groups and both genders. The findings were published in the Feb. 3, 2004 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.