OBJECTIVE: To report data on the impact of worksite smoking policies on employee smoking behaviour from a large and heterogeneous sample of smokers and worksites in 22 different communities across North America participating in the COMMIT trial. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: Data from a population-based survey of 8271 employed adult smokers who completed surveys in 1988 and 1993. Surveys included questions on tobacco use behaviours, personal/demographic characteristics, and smoking policy and cessation resources at the workplace. RESULTS: After controlling for potential confounding factors, regression analyses revealed that employees who worked in a smoke-free worksite were over 25% more likely to make a serious quit attempt between 1988 and 1993, and over 25% more likely to achieve cessation than those who worked in a worksite that permitted smoking. Among continuing smokers, employees in smoke-free worksites consumed an average of 2 3/4 fewer cigarettes per day compared with those who worked in places with a non-restrictive smoking policy. A smoke-free worksite policy was not associated with a greater likelihood of using smokeless tobacco. CONCLUSION: These data, from one of the largest and longest smoking cessation studies to date, add support to the conclusion that smoke-free worksite policies help employees to reduce or discontinue use of tobacco.
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