The influence of occupational stress factors on the nicotine dependence: a cross sectional study
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Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR), Faculty of Human Science and Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Integrated Curriculum for Anthroposophic Medicine, private University of Witten/Herdecke, Herdecke, Germany
Institute for Psychology, University of Education Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
LIMES (Life and Medical Sciences Bonn), Program Unit Molecular Immune & Cell Biology, Functional Genomics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Hospital Merheim, chest clinic, Cologne, Germany
First Department of Internal Medicine, Molecular Tumour Biology and Tumour Immunology & Centre for Integrated Oncology (CIO), University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Submission date: 2009-10-08
Acceptance date: 2010-04-13
Publication date: 2010-04-13
Corresponding author
Anna Schmidt   

Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR), Faculty of Human Science and Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne, Eupener Strasse 129, Cologne 50933, Germany
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2010;8(April):6
This study analyses the association between occupational stress factors and nicotine dependence. Our hypothesis is that occupational stress factors increase nicotine dependence.

Data were taken from the Cologne Smoking Study, a case-control study that examines which genetic/psychosocial factors lead to a higher risk for smokers to suffer from cardiac infarction, lung cancer and/or to become addicted to nicotine. Our sample consisted of N = 197 currently smoking and employed participants. Nicotine dependence was measured using the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND). The extent of the stress factors experienced at work was assessed using the Effort-Reward Imbalance scale (ERI). Logistic regression was used for the statistical analysis.

Contrary to our hypothesis, the results show that occupational stress factors are actually associated with lower levels of nicotine dependence (N = 197; adjusted OR = 0.439; p = .059).

One possible explanation for the study's findings is that the participants have a heavy workload and can only smoke in their spare time. Another reason may be workplace smoking bans. Furthermore, the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence is unable to examine nicotine dependence during working hours.

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