The smoking habits of United States workers from 1978 to 1980 were assessed by employment status, race, and industry. Data were obtained from the 1978 to 1980 National Health Interview Survey smoking questionnaire sponsored by the National Center for Health Statistics. Information regarding demographic variables, employment status, and smoking status were evaluated using a computer program called SESUDAAN which was designed to estimate the variance of weighted proportions and means from a multistage nonrandom sample survey based on Taylor series linearization. The results indicated that despite complex demographics, employment status and race had a large influence on cigarette smoking habits. Patterns identified for smoking and occupational status included a prevalence of current smokers among currently unemployed workers and blue collar workers, a significantly lower percentage of female smokers in all occupational categories, and increased percentages of persons categorized as never smokers among all the occupational groups. The occupational groups with the highest percentages of current smokers included bartenders, building managers, meat cutters, aircraft repair, roofers, brickmasons, structural metal crafts, truck drivers, cutting operators, pressmen, restaurant management, auto body repair, air conditioning repair, fork lift operatives, and construction workers. Black men had the highest overall percentage of current smokers, and black men in technical and professional fields had a significantly higher percentage of current smokers than white men in the same occupational groups.
Robert Brackbill, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226