Understanding the needs of smokers who work as routine and manual workers on building sites: results from a qualitative study on workplace smoking cessation

Nigel Sherriff, L. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The number of adults smoking is decreasing, yet decreases are not spread evenly with the greatest number of smokers in the Routine/Manual (R/M) population. This research aimed to gain insight into the beliefs, behaviours, and cessation needs of R/M smokers working on construction sites to inform the potential development of a work-based smoking cessation service. Study Design: A qualitative study in a work-based setting in the UK. Methods: Semi structured focus group discussions and individual interviews (n = 23) with R/M employees on two development sites in London and 7 employers. Data were analysed using a framework approach. Results: Key motivations for smoking continuance within this group were evident: physical effects; habit and routine; opportunity, and; social factors. Employees were knowledgeable about the negative health impacts of smoking but showed limited awareness of smoking cessation services and aids available. Intentions to give up smoking were common with favourable attitudes towards the development of a work-based smoking cessation service. Conclusion: The milieu of construction sites mean tailored approaches to work-based smoking cessation programmes are needed to maximise potential benefits for both employees as well as their respective employers. Reconsideration of current Smokefree legislation as it applies to the construction industry is also required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalPublic health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


Bibliographical note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Public Health. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Public Health, 127, 2, 2013 DOI:10.1016/j.puhe.2012.10.002


  • Smoking cessation
  • Routine and manual
  • Health promotion
  • Public health
  • Qualitative research

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