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Smoking Rates for Working Adults Down, but Not Enough

Rates high particularly among poor, uninsured, and those in certain industries and occupations

THURSDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Workplace initiatives to reduce smoking have succeeded to some degree, but certain groups of working adults are still smoking at rates much higher than the Healthy People 2010 target of 12 percent or lower, according to research published in the Sept. 30 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Girija Syamlal, M.P.H., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed National Health Interview Survey data from 2004 to 2010 to describe trends in adult smoking in the workplace.

The researchers found the overall cigarette smoking prevalence among working adults to be 19.6 percent, but higher among those with lower education (28.4 percent), no health insurance (28.6 percent), poverty status (27.7 percent), and the younger age of 18 to 24 (23.8 percent). Cigarette smoking prevalence varied widely by industry and occupation; for example, from 9.7 percent of those in education services to 30 percent of those in mining.

"Although some progress has been made in reducing smoking prevalence among working adults, additional effective employer interventions need to be implemented, including health insurance coverage for cessation treatments, easily accessible help for those who want to quit, and smoke-free workplace policies," the authors write.

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