Objective: To map patterns and prevalence of daily smoking among employed Australians over time. Methods: Data from four waves of the triennial National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016) were used to assess daily smoking. Frequency analyses and significance testing examined smoking prevalence by sex, age, state, remoteness, Indigeneity, socioeconomic status (SES) and psychological distress. Logistic regression models estimated adjusted effects of demographics on smoking prevalence. Results: Workers’ daily smoking prevalence reduced by 32% between 2007 and 2016. The adjusted model showed the lowest smoking reductions among men and non-metropolitan workers. Other interaction effects showed the highest daily smoking rates for: male workers aged 14–39 years; low SES non-metropolitan workers; and low SES workers aged 40–59 years. Conclusions: Specific workplace policies, prevention and intervention strategies are warranted for male workers, especially those aged 14–39; non-metropolitan workers, especially low SES rural workers; and low SES workers especially 40–59-year-olds. Implications for public health: In spite of significant smoking reductions among workers over time, reductions were unevenly distributed. Tailored, innovative workplace prevention and intervention strategies that apply principles of proportionate universalism and address individual, workplace settings and cultural factors are warranted to reduce smoking disparities among male, rural and low SES workers.
This brief report describes a survey design process undertaken in collaboration with industry stakeholders from government, non-government and other applied fields. This account highlights fundamental and contested issues of knowledge creation in research, situated within the broader contemporary context of social change addressing inequality and inclusion for historically marginalised and vulnerable groups.
The study comprised a non-probability survey of the Australian Alcohol and Other Drugs Workforce.
A reflective account is provided.
Significant and unanticipated differences in conceptual frames and perceptions of research ethics between the research team and industry representatives emerged during the collaboration, with major implications for the validity of the research process.
The traditional, and largely unquestioned, understanding of quantitative survey research methodology is encountering increasing challenges in light of contemporary considerations of identity, privacy and wellbeing of survey participants. Some of these differences seriously challenged conventional approaches to research methodology, quality and rigour. There is a pressing need for further exploration, discussion and debate regarding the process of knowledge creation, ownership and stewardship. Strategies to better equip the research community and their industry stakeholders to navigate issues of research veracity, integrity and rigour are urgently needed, including training and guidance on negotiate differences in values, priorities and perspectives for upcoming and established researchers.
Background: Globally, there is growing concern regarding workers’ illicit drug use and its implications for health and workplace safety. Young workers in male-dominated industries, such as construction, may be more susceptible to illicit drug use, risky drinking and its associated harms.
Purpose/objectives: To investigate drug use and perceptions of risk among male construction workers, drawing comparisons between workers under 25 years with older age groups.
Methods: Workers in Sydney, Australia (N = 511) completed a survey measuring past year illicit drug and alcohol use, psychological distress and perceptions of drug-related risks to health and safety. Prevalence in the total sample was compared with national estimates, and differences between younger and older survey respondents were examined using logistic regression models.
Results: Survey respondents’ cocaine, meth/amphetamine and cannabis use was significantly higher than estimates of male employees nationally (OR = 6.60, 3.58, 1.61, respectively). Young workers ≤24 were more likely to frequently use illicit drugs, drink heavily, and report psychological distress than those aged 35+. Workers ≤24 were least likely to perceive that drug use posed high risks to health or safety when compared with 25-34 and 35+ age groups.
Conclusions/importance: The findings highlight the high prevalence of illicit drug use amongst young construction workers, representing threats to workplace safety even if used outside work hours. Greater emphasis on potential adverse effects of alcohol and drug use and closer examination of contributory workplace factors are required. These findings have practical implications to inform occupational health and safety programs and interventions in high-risk workplaces.