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Job stress and smoking in the Dutch labour force

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/9.1.58 58-61 First published online: 1 March 1999


Background: This study examined the associations between components of Karasek's job strain model, i.e. job demands and job control, and smoking behaviour among men and women in the Dutch labour force. Methods: There were computed adjusted associations for men and women separately by means of multinomial log-linear analysis. The adjustments were made for age and socioeconomic status. The data concerned self reports from the quality of life surveys (QLSs) in 1994–1995 of Statistics Netherlands. Results: The combination of high job demands and low job control (job strain) was not related to smoking behaviour among men or women. Neither were high job demands related to smoking. However, we found significant associations for job control, although only in men. Men in the highest tertile of job control were less often smokers of both one to nine cigarettes and over 20 cigarettes a day than men in the lowest tertile. The corresponding odds ratios were 0.68 (95% Cl: 0.47–0.99) and 0.70 (95% Cl: 0.50–0.98). Conclusion: The QLS study provided further support for the inverse association between job control and smoking in men. The findings suggest the need for a sex specific approach in studying job stress-related smoking hazards. Perhaps more attention should be given to the duration of exposure to job stress and to the home-work interface in working women.

  • job stress
  • The Netherlands
  • smoking