Job stress, cigarette smoking and cessation: The conditioning effects of peer support

Mina Westman*, Dov Eden, Arie Shirom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Relationships between questionnaire measures of job stress and smoking intensity (SI) and cessation were studied among 560 disease-free smoking males and 310 quitters all members of 22 kibbutzim. The main-effect hypothesis that stress is positively related to SI and negatively to cessation received some support in correlational and multiple regression analyses for the entire sample. Hours of work, work addiction, lack of influence, intrinsic impoverishment and lack support were positively associated with SI. Conflict, responsibility, hours of work, low status, lack of influence and harsh working conditions were negatively associated with cessation. When peer support was dichotomized into low and high, we found that persons reporting low support smoked significantly more than those who reported high support. Seeking effects of both hours of work and support on SI, we found additive main effects but no interaction effect. The average number of cigarettes smoked by people who worked less than 8 hours and reported high support was 17, whereas people who worked more than 8 hours and reported low support smoked an average of 22 cigarettes a day. The buffering effect of support on the relationship between stress and both SI and cessation of smoking was examined by means of interaction analysis. No buffer effect was evident for SI. However, for respondents reporting low support more job stressors were negatively related to cessation than among those reporting high support, confirming the support-buffer hypothesis that social support may be measurement of support are discussed. We conclude with the hypothesis that social support may be detrimental to the smoker, depending on the smoking attitudes and behaviors of the 'supportive' others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-644
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985


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