Background Female smoking rate in South Korea did not decrease in recent 5 years and had been underreported while males smoking rate had decreasing trends. Some reports demonstrated that young women and specific female workers had high smoking rate.
Objectives This study aimed to investigate the age and occupational differentials in female smoking rate assessed by urine cotinine levels in South Korean using a nationally representative survey.
Methods We analysed that 8186 women from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2011 from nationally representative sample. Smokers were defined with 50 or more urine cotinine levels. The association between age and occupations and smoking was investigated by using weighted multiple logistic regression after adjusting for socioeconomic status.
Results Estimated female smoking rate was 12.9% (95% CI: 11.8–13.9). Three high rate occupations were service, office, and craft workers. (19.6%, 19.4%, and 18.0%) 25–34 years old, high school graduate, divorce and bereavement had higher OR for smoking after adjusting for age, education, income and marital status. Service, sales, office, craft and simple labour workers had 1.7 ∼ 2.5 OR for smoking rate compared to professional workers. Smoking rates of 25–34 years old workers in service and sales occupation were 43% (95% CI: 24.6–61.5) and 36% (95% CI: 23.6–49.6)
Conclusions Smoking rate was high in service, sales, office, craft and simple labour workers, especially in young age. Therefore, smoking cessation educations and interventions are need to be established for specific age and occupational groups.
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