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Logo of bmcphBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Public Health
BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 335.
Published online 2012 May 17. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-335
PMCID: PMC3355035

Protocol of a randomized controlled trial of the Tobacco Tactics website for operating engineers



Recent research indicates that 35 percent of blue-collar workers in the US currently smoke while only 20 percent of white-collar workers smoke. Over the last year, we have been working with heavy equipment operators, specifically the Local 324 Training Center of the International Union of Operating Engineers, to study the epidemiology of smoking, which is 29% compared to 21% among the general population. For the current study funded by the National Cancer Institute (1R21CA152247-01A1), we have developed the Tobacco Tactics website which will be compared to the state supported 1-800-QUIT-NOW telephone line. Outcome evaluation will compare those randomized to the Tobacco Tactics web-based intervention to those randomized to the 1-800-QUIT-NOW control condition on: a) 30-day and 6-month quit rates; b) cotinine levels; c) cigarettes smoked/day; d) number of quit attempts; and e) nicotine addiction. Process evaluation will compare the two groups on the: a) contacts with intervention; b) medications used; c) helpfulness of the nurse/coach; and d) willingness to recommend the intervention to others.


This will be a randomized controlled trial (N = 184). Both interventions will be offered during regularly scheduled safety training at Local 324 Training Center of the International Union of Operating Engineers and both will include optional provision of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy and the same number of telephone contacts. However, the Tobacco Tactics website has graphics tailored to Operating Engineers, tailored cessation feedback from the website, and follow up nurse counseling offered by multimedia options including phone and/or email, and/or e-community. Primary Analysis of Aim 1 will be conducted by using logistic regression to compare smoking habits (e.g., quit rates) of those in the intervention arm to those in the control arm. Primary analyses for Aim 2 will compare process measures (e.g., medications used) between the two groups by linear, logistic, and Poisson regression.


Dissemination of an efficacious work-site, web-based smoking cessation intervention has the potential to substantially impact cancer rates among this population. Based on the outcome of this smaller study, wider scale testing in conjunction with the International Environment Technology Testing Center which services Operating Engineers across North America (including US, Mexico, and Canada) will be conducted.

Trial registration


Keywords: Tobacco, Cessation, Smoking, Workplace intervention

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