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Chavez LJ, Ornelas IJ, Lyles CR, Williams EC. Racial/ethnic workplace discrimination: association with tobacco and alcohol use. American journal of preventive medicine. 2015 Jan 1; 48(1):42-9.
BACKGROUND: Experiences of discrimination are associated with tobacco and alcohol use, and work is a common setting where individuals experience racial/ethnic discrimination. Few studies have evaluated the association between workplace discrimination and these behaviors, and none have described associations across race/ethnicity. PURPOSE: To examine the association between workplace discrimination and tobacco and alcohol use in a large, multistate sample of U.S. adult respondents to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey Reactions to Race Module (2004-2010). METHODS: Multivariable logistic regression analyses evaluated cross-sectional associations between self-reported workplace discrimination and tobacco (current and daily smoking) and alcohol use (any and heavy use, and binge drinking) among all participants and stratified by race/ethnicity, adjusting for relevant covariates. Data were analyzed in 2013. RESULTS: Among respondents, 70,080 completed the workplace discrimination measure. Discrimination was more common among black non-Hispanic (21%), Hispanic (12%), and other race respondents (11%) than white non-Hispanics (4%) (p < 0.001). In the total sample, discrimination was associated with current smoking (risk ratio [RR] = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.19, 1.47), daily smoking (RR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.24, 1.61), and heavy drinking (RR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.01, 1.22), but not binge or any drinking. Among Hispanics, workplace discrimination was associated with increased heavy and binge drinking, but not any alcohol use or smoking. Workplace discrimination among black non-Hispanics and white Non-Hispanics was associated with increased current and daily smoking, but not alcohol outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Workplace discrimination is common, associated with smoking and alcohol use, and merits further policy attention, given the impact of these behaviors on morbidity and mortality.