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Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Aug;20(6):887-94. doi: 10.1007/s10552-009-9324-0. Epub 2009 Mar 20.

MassBuilt: effectiveness of an apprenticeship site-based smoking cessation intervention for unionized building trades workers.

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  • 1Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program, University of California San Francisco and Berkeley, 3333 California St, Suite 465, San Francisco, CA 94709-0844, USA.



Blue-collar workers are difficult to reach and less likely to successfully quit smoking. The objective of this study was to test a training site-based smoking cessation intervention.


This study is a randomized-controlled trial of a smoking cessation intervention that integrated occupational health concerns and was delivered in collaboration with unions to apprentices at 10 sites (n = 1,213). We evaluated smoking cessation at 1 and 6 months post-intervention.


The baseline prevalence of smoking was 41%. We observed significantly higher quit rates in the intervention versus control group (26% vs. 16.8%; p = 0.014) 1 month after the intervention. However, the effects diminished over time so that the difference in quit rate was not significant at 6 month post-intervention (9% vs. 7.2%; p = 0.48). Intervention group members nevertheless reported a significant decrease in smoking intensity (OR = 3.13; 95% CI: 1.55-6.31) at 6 months post-intervention, compared to controls.


The study demonstrates the feasibility of delivering an intervention through union apprentice programs. Furthermore, the notably better 1-month quit rate results among intervention members and the greater decrease in smoking intensity among intervention members who continued to smoke underscore the need to develop strategies to help reduce relapse among blue-collar workers who quit smoking.

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