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Helping carpenters quit: Targeted messages promote smoking cessation among construction trade workers

KEY QUESTION
Are targeted anti-smoking messages more effective in persuading construction workers to seek help to stop smoking? 

REACH
Blue-collar workers, particularly in the construction trades, are more likely to smoke, smoke more heavily, and have less success in quitting compared to white-collar workers. We sought to understand the individual attitudes and workplace culture of construction trade workers to develop targeted smoking cessation messages. 

After analyzing questionnaires and focus group data, we designed messages to target broad groups of workers and tested those messages with 40 carpenters who currently smoke. 

EFFECTIVENESS
Over 50% of current smokers chose the “Your kids do what you do” themed message as their favorite. The second favorite message was “Double Trouble,” which explained the combined effects of smoking and workplace respiratory hazards. Younger workers without children were less convinced and thought less of their own lives when reading the “Your kids do what you do” message; however, 57% of younger workers and 35% of those without children still chose this at their favorite. 

CONNECTIONS
Age and family appear to be important influences on the effectiveness of anti-smoking messages that could facilitate smoking cessation in this high-risk group. 

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
We are currently developing 24 targeted messages for four groups of carpenters: Workers under 30 with children; workers under 30 without children; workers over 30 with children; and workers over 30 without children. We plan to test those messages and gauge their impact in persuading carpenters to use union services to stop smoking.​
 


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