Recent research indicates that 35 percent of blue-collar workers in the U.S. currently smoke while only 20 percent of white-collar workers smoke. Over the last year, we have been working with heavy equipment operators, specifically Michigan Operating Engineers Local 324 Education Center, to study the epidemiology of tobacco use among this population. Having surveyed 498 Operating Engineers, the data show that smoking rates are high at 29% compared to 21% among the general population. While 57% of the tobacco users surveyed are interested in tobacco cessation services, novel strategies are needed to reach blue collar workers who are less likely to use proven tobacco cessation treatments such as counseling and/or pharmacotherapy. To this end, we have developed the Tobacco Tactics website for Operating Engineers. Responding to PA-09-130 Exploratory Grants for Behavioral Research in Cancer Control (R21), we are proposing a randomized control trial to pilot test the Web-based Tobacco Tactics intervention among Operating Engineers in Michigan compared to the state supported 1-800-QUIT-NOW telephone line, a well- known intervention available in the community (N=100). Both interventions will be offered during regularly scheduled safety training at the union hall and both will include counseling and provision of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy. However, the Tobacco Tactics website will have humorous graphics tailored to Operating Engineers, tailored cessation feedback from the website, and follow up nurse counseling offered by multi-media options including phone and/or email, and/or e-community. Outcome evaluation will compare those randomized to the Tobacco Tactics Web-based intervention to those randomized to the 1-800-QUIT-NOW control condition on: a) 30-day and 6-month quit rates;b) cotinine levels;c) cigarettes smoked/day;d) number of quit attempts;and e) nicotine addiction. Process evaluation will compare the two groups on the: a) number contacts with intervention;b) minutes of exposure;c) medications used;and d) satisfaction. While we recognize that we are underpowered to obtain significant results of P<.05, this pilot study is designed to show whether the results are in the expected direction. Based on the outcome of this smaller R21, we will develop an RO1 for wider scale testing in conjunction with the International Environment Technology Testing Center which services Operating Engineers across North America (including US, Mexico, and Canada).

Public Health Relevance

Because smoking is high among blue collar workers, we have developed a novel Tobacco Tactics website for Operating Engineers to be tested in a randomized control trial compared to the 1-800-QUIT-NOW state-supported telephone quit line (N=100). If this R21 pilot study shows promising results, we will develop an RO1 to test the Web-based Tobacco Tactics intervention in a larger randomized control trial in conjunction with the International Environment Technology Testing Center which services Operating Engineers across the US, Mexico, and Canada.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPIA-K (09))
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Djordjevic, Mirjana V
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Nursing
Ann Arbor
United States
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Park, Eunhee; Choi, Seung Hee; Duffy, Sonia A (2016) The Effect of Re-randomization in a Smoking Cessation Trial. Am J Health Behav 40:667-74
Choi, Seung Hee; Waltje, Andrea H; Ronis, David L et al. (2014) Web-enhanced tobacco tactics with telephone support versus 1-800-QUIT-NOW telephone line intervention for operating engineers: randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res 16:e255
Duffy, Sonia A; Fowler, Karen E; Flanagan, Petra S et al. (2013) The development of the tobacco tactics website. JMIR Res Protoc 2:e22
Choi, Seung Hee; Pohl, Joanne M; Terrell, Jeffrey E et al. (2013) Factors associated with smoking among operating engineers. Workplace Health Saf 61:385-92
Choi, Seung Hee; Terrell, Jeffrey E; Pohl, Joanne M et al. (2013) Factors associated with sleep quality among operating engineers. J Community Health 38:597-602
Duffy, Sonia A; Ronis, David L; Richardson, Caroline et al. (2012) Protocol of a randomized controlled trial of the Tobacco Tactics website for operating engineers. BMC Public Health 12:335