The Organizational Implications of Smokeless Tobacco Use in the Lumber Mill Industry

Document Type



Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (CGU), Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Social and Behavioral Sciences


Although much is known about the characteristics of employees who smoke cigarettes, very little is known about workers who use smokeless tobacco. The current study was designed to understand the characteristics of smokeless tobacco users in relation to their performance at work and compare them with smokers and former tobacco users. Data were collected via interviews and questionnaires from a random sample of employees working at Pacific Lumber Company (N = 146), the largest single-site lumber mill in California. A total of 63 smokeless tobacco users (21 of whom also smoked cigarettes), 43 cigarette smokers, and 40 employees who had successfully quit using tobacco (34 of whom previously used cigarettes only) provided information about their health behavior, quality of work life, and performance at work. Analyses revealed that smokeless tobacco users reported less healthful sleep patterns, drank alcohol more often, were intoxicated more often, reported less job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and reported that both chewers and smokers do not work as hard and take more breaks than do tobacco-free employees (quitters). Specific differences among chewers-only, smokers-only, smokers- and-chewers, and quitters are presented. Results suggest the organizational value of developing worksite cessation programs for smokeless tobacco users.

Rights Information

© 1996 Elsevier B.V.