Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the association between sustained smoking and quitting with work-related outcomes among older workers. Methods: We categorized a sample of older employees into non-smokers, sustained smokers and quitters. Multivariable regression models were used to test longitudinal associations of sustained smoking and smoking cessation with sickness absence, productivity loss and work ability. Results: We included 3612 non-smokers, 673 sustained smokers and 246 quitters. Comparing sustained smokers to non-smokers, we found higher (but not statistically significant) sickness absence for sustained smokers [1.01, 95% confidence interval (CI) − 0.16–2.17]. We did not find differences in productivity loss (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.60–1.13) and work ability (0.05, 95% CI −0.05–0.15). For employees with a relatively high physical health at baseline, comparing quitters to sustained smokers, we found higher (but not statistically significant) productivity loss for quitters (OR 2.23, 95% CI 0.94–5.31), and no difference in sickness absence (0.10, 95% CI − 2.67–2.87), and work ability (− 0.10, 95% CI − 0.36–0.16). For employees with a relatively low physical health at baseline, comparing quitters to sustained smokers, we found a statistically significant lower work ability (− 0.31, 95% CI − 0.57–0.05), and no difference in sickness absence (2.53, 95% CI − 1.29–6.34) and productivity loss (OR 1.26, 95% CI 0.66–2.39). Conclusions: We found no evidence that sustained smokers have less favorable work-related outcomes than non-smokers or that quitters have more favorable work-related outcomes than sustained smokers. The benefits of smoking cessation for employers might take a longer time to develop.
|Journal||International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2020|