Association between nicotine dependency with occupational injury in Korean men


Background: The relationship between smoking status or second-hand smoking and occupational injuries has been the subject of considerable study, but few have studied the relationship between nicotine dependence and occupational injuries. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between nicotine dependence and occupational injury among employees at a range of Korean companies.

Methods: Initially, the personal and occupational characteristics and nicotine dependences of workers were measured, and 12 months later a survey was used to determine whether subjects had experienced any occupational injury. This study was conducted in several workplaces on 6,893 male workers in manufacturing and service industries that received health screening at Inha University Hospital in Incheon.

Results: The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of occupational injury in the low, moderate, and high nicotine dependence groups were 1.38 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04-1.84), 1.52 (95% CI: 1.10-2.10), and 1.71 (95% CI: 0.92-3.19), respectively. For smokers only, adjusted ORs tended to increase linearly (p for trend < 0.05). When only smokers were included, analysis of continuous FTND (Fagerstrom Test of Nicotine Dependence) scores showed that adjusted OR increased by 1.10 (95% CI: 1.03-1.19) per FTND point. After stratifying the data by working type and working hours per week, the non-shift work group maintained this relationship (OR: 1.13, 95% CI: 1.04-1.24) and OR was higher in the group that works more than 60 hours per week with FTND score as a continuous variable (OR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.07-1.44). Conclusions: The study shows nicotine dependency might affect occupational injury. From a short-term perspective, addressing worker's nicotine dependence by giving an adequate break time or smoking area might reduce work-related injuries.

Authors: Sung Wook Jang, Hwan-Cheol Kim, Ji Ho Kim, Min Sun Kim, Youna Won, Hyeonwoo Ju, Hyung Doo Kim, Go Choi, Shin-Goo Park, Jong-Han Leem
; Full Source: Annals of occupational and environmental medicine 2021 May 4;33:e14. doi: 10.35371/aoem.2021.33.e14.