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Organisational justice and smoking: the Finnish public sector study
  1. Anne Kouvonen1,
  2. Jussi Vahtera2,
  3. Marko Elovainio3,
  4. Sara J Cox1,
  5. Tom Cox1,
  6. Anne Linna2,
  7. Marianna Virtanen2,
  8. Mika Kivimäki4
  1. 1Institute of Work, Health & Organisations, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), Helsinki, Finland
  4. 4International Centre for Health and Society, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London Medical School, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr A Kouvonen
 Institute of Work, Health & Organisations, University of Nottingham, 8 William Lee Buildings, Nottingham Science and Technology Park, University Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 2RQ, UK; anne.kouvonen{at}


Objective: To examine the extent to which the justice of decision-making procedures and interpersonal relationships is associated with smoking.

Setting: 10 municipalities and 21 hospitals in Finland.

Design and participants: Cross-sectional data derived from the Finnish Public Sector Study were analysed with logistic regression analysis models with generalised estimating equations. Analyses of smoking status were based on data provided by 34 021 employees. Separate models for heavy smoking (⩾20 cigarettes/day) were calculated for 6295 current smokers.

Results: After adjustment for age, education, socioeconomic position, marital status, job contract and negative affectivity, smokers who reported low procedural justice were about 1.4 times more likely to smoke ⩾20 cigarettes/day compared with their counterparts who reported high levels of justice. In a similar way, after adjustments, low levels of justice in interpersonal treatment was significantly associated with an increased prevalence of heavy smoking (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.77 for men and OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.83 for women). Further adjustment for job strain and effort–reward imbalance had little effect on these results. No associations were observed between justice components and smoking status or ex-smoking.

Conclusions: The extent to which employees are treated with justice in the workplace seems to be associated with smoking intensity independently of established stressors at work.

  • ERI, effort–reward imbalance
  • GEE, generalised estimating equations

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  • AK was working as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Work, Health and Organisations, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK, when preparing this paper.

  • Competing interests: None.

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