University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 43

Abstract 1990-1999

Flynn BS, Gurdon MA, Secker-Walker RH. Cigarette smoking control strategies of firms with small work forces in two Northeastern States. Am J Health Promot. 1995 Jan-Feb;9(3):202-9, 219.

PURPOSE. Cigarette smoking control strategies of firms with small work forces were assessed and compared with those of larger firms. DESIGN. A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted in 1990 among private employers systematically selected from a proprietary database. SETTING. These firms were located in four counties of two northeastern states. SUBJECTS. Interviews were conducted with managers of 470 small (< or = 25 employees; n = 262), medium (26-50; n = 87), and larger (> 50; n = 121) firms. MEASURES. Interviews assessed characteristics of the firms and their cigarette smoking policies and cessation programs. RESULTS. Small firms differed from larger firms in several areas. They were less likely to have written policies, used fewer methods to communicate their policies, and their policies were consistently less restrictive. Small firms also offered less assistance to employees who wished to quit. CONCLUSIONS. The less restrictive smoking policies reported here may be relatively ineffective in protecting nonsmokers in small firms. Small firms may encounter difficulties introducing more restrictive smoking policies because of the relative closeness of employee relations, smaller work spaces, and inability to deliver smoking cessation services to employees. Methods should be developed to assist managers of smaller firms to implement stronger smoking policies and to devise ways of making cessation assistance more easily available to their employees.

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