Despite the overall decline in cigarette smoking prevalence in Brazil in past decades, social inequalities in smoking have persisted and even widened. We investigated the effect of precarious work and household context on smoking prevalence among Brazilian workers.
Methods This study is based on the household Special Smoking Survey (PetTab) carried out in 2008 in a representative sample of the Brazilians. Studied sample included 7601 working individuals aged between 15 and 64 years, who lived in large metropolitan regions of Brazil. Participants were classified as formal or informal employee based on the presence of social insurance protection. Smoking prevalence was estimated according to employment status and Poisson regression used to investigate factors associated with smoking.
Results The prevalence of smoking was 18.5%, it was highest among informal employers (23.7% vs 15.7%, p<0.005). On both groups, the prevalence of smoking was greater among older workers, less educated, head of household, who lived with a smoking person and in households lacking rules about indoor smoking. Lack of workplaces rules concerning smoking was associated with smoking prevalence. In the multivariate analysis including all workers, smoking remained positively associated with precarious employment (PR: 1.28; 95% CI 1.09 to 1.41), male sex, older age, number of smoking persons in the same household (1–2 smokers: PR: 1.92; 95% CI 1.70 to 2.18; 3+ smokers: PR: 2.84; 95% CI 1.98 to 4.06); and absence of norms about smoking in the household (PR: 2.18 95% CI 1.89 to 2.52).
Conclusion The results reveal that smoking affects more individuals in precarious working relations and the importance of household cultural context on tobacco use.
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