Smoking Study
Description and Aims



Washington University Occupational Safety and Health Research

Smoking Cessation Study


Study Description

The goal of this study is to promote smoking cessation among unionized construction trade workers. Our study is based on the hypothesis that more effective smoking cessation messages can be shaped by data on attitudes and beliefs among workers. During the pilot phase of the study, we conducted focus groups and questionnaires with over 400 members of the Carpenters’ District Council of Greater St. Louis to examine culturally-specific attitudes and beliefs about smoking among construction workers. Focus group and questionnaire data was used to develop 12 targeted smoking cessation messages, which were tested with 40 current smokers. Results suggested that certain messages had more persuasive appeal than others, and that the appeal of specific recruitment messages varied by broad audience segments identified by personal characteristics such as age and parental status. In the current study, we will develop and test the effectiveness of messages based on 4 audience segments: 1) Members under 30 with children; (1) Members 30 or older with children; (3) Members under 30 without children; and (4) Members 30 or older without children.


This intervention is relatively low-cost and sustainable. If effective, the intervention can be translated readily to other union-sponsored health plans, which cover approximately 10 million trade workers across the country.


Study Aims

Specific Aim 1: Develop targeted messages based on audience segmentation to encourage smokers to enroll in a comprehensive union-sponsored smoking cessation program.


Specific Aim 2: Conduct a randomized controlled trial of targeted messaging based on audience segmentation versus standard smoking cessation education.


Message Example:



* The Health Communication Research Lab (http://hcrl.wustl.edu) at Washington University is responsible for the content and graphic design of all postcards and text messages.