Changing patterns and prevalence of daily tobacco smoking among Australian workers: 2007–2016

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    Objective: To map patterns and prevalence of daily smoking among employed Australians over time. Methods: Data from four waves of the triennial National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016) were used to assess daily smoking. Frequency analyses and significance testing examined smoking prevalence by sex, age, state, remoteness, Indigeneity, socioeconomic status (SES) and psychological distress. Logistic regression models estimated adjusted effects of demographics on smoking prevalence. Results: Workers’ daily smoking prevalence reduced by 32% between 2007 and 2016. The adjusted model showed the lowest smoking reductions among men and non-metropolitan workers. Other interaction effects showed the highest daily smoking rates for: male workers aged 14–39 years; low SES non-metropolitan workers; and low SES workers aged 40–59 years. Conclusions: Specific workplace policies, prevention and intervention strategies are warranted for male workers, especially those aged 14–39; non-metropolitan workers, especially low SES rural workers; and low SES workers especially 40–59-year-olds. Implications for public health: In spite of significant smoking reductions among workers over time, reductions were unevenly distributed. Tailored, innovative workplace prevention and intervention strategies that apply principles of proportionate universalism and address individual, workplace settings and cultural factors are warranted to reduce smoking disparities among male, rural and low SES workers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)290-298
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


    • daily tobacco smoking
    • demographics
    • trends over time
    • workers


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