Tobacco smoking among government employees in six cities in China

Neil Mehta, Chen Zhang, Xinwei Hua, Pamela Redmon, Michael Eriksen, Jeffrey Koplan, Mohammed Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Employer-based tobacco control interventions have been highly successful in developed countries, and, recently, Chinese officials announced a focus on quitting among government employees. However, there are few data offering estimates of smoking prevalence among government workers from developing nations. In this study, we investigate smoking behaviours among government workers in six Chinese cities stratified by educational attainment and occupational grade. Design: Individual-level study of Chinese government employees. Data sources: Tobacco-Free Cities Initiative of China Tobacco Control Partnership. Analysis: Employed adults aged 18-61 at government worksites in six cities were included (N=6176). Prevalence of current and former smoking across educational (postgraduate, graduate, high school, secondary school or less) and occupational (senior executives, mid-level managers, workers) groups were compared. Results: Overall prevalence of male current smoking was 40.7% (95% CI 39.1% to 42.4%). Age-adjusted smoking prevalence was lowest among those with a postgraduate degree (26.2% (95% CI 21.0% to 31.4%)) compared with those with lower levels of education (college (39.8%; 37.7% to 41.8%); high school (51.0%; 95% CI 45.0% to 57.0%); secondary or less (45.1%; 95% CI 40.3% to 49.8%)). There was no evidence of an association between current smoking and occupational grade. Prevalence of smoking was low in women (1.5%). Conclusions: Smoking prevalence among male government employees at all levels of education was high and patterned by educational attainment. Government initiatives to address tobacco control among employees should consider targeted interventions for different educational levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalHeart Asia
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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