Predicting smokeless tobacco cessation in a blue-collar population

Riki Pauline Weinstein, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The use of smokeless tobacco products is undergoing an alarming resurgence in the United States. Several national surveys have reported a higher prevalence of use among those employed in blue-collar occupations. National objectives now target this group for health promotion programs which reduce the health risks associated with tobacco use. Drawn from a larger data set measuring health behaviors, this cross-sectional study tested the applicability of two related theories, the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), to smokeless tobacco (SLT) cessation in a blue-collar population of gas pipeline workers. In order to understand the determinants of SLT cessation, measures were obtained of demographic and normative characteristics of the population and specific constructs. Attitude toward the act of quitting (AACT) and subjective norm (SN) are constructs common to both models, perceived behavioral control (PBC) is unique to the TPB, and the number of past quit attempts is not contained in either model. In addition, a self-reported measure was taken of SLT use at two-month follow-up. The study population was comprised of all male SLT users who were field employees in a large gas pipeline company with gas compressor stations extending from Texas to the Canadian border. At baseline, 199 employees responded to the SLT portion of the survey, 118 completed some portion of the two-month follow-up, and 101 could be matched across time. As hypothesized, significant correlations were found between constructs antecedent to AACT and SN, although crossover effects occurred. Significant differences were found between SLT cessation intenders and non-intenders with regard to their personal and normative beliefs about quitting as well as their outcome expectancies and motivation to comply with others' beliefs. These differences occurred in the expected direction, with the mean intender score consistently higher than that of the non-intender. Contrary to hypothesis, AACT predicted intention to quit but SN did not. However, confirmatory of the TPB, PBC, operationalized as self-efficacy, independently contributed to the prediction of intention. Statistically significant relationships were not found between intention, perceived behavioral control, their interactive effects, and use behavior at two-month follow-up. The introduction of number of quit attempts into the logistic regression model resulted in insignificant findings for independent and interactive effects. The findings from this study are discussed in relation to their implications for program development and practice, especially within the worksite. In order to confirm and extend the findings of this investigation, recommendations for future research are also discussed.

Subject Area

Public health|Behaviorial sciences

Recommended Citation

Weinstein, Riki Pauline, "Predicting smokeless tobacco cessation in a blue-collar population" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9700057.