We found truck drivers were twice as likely to smoke compared to other US workers. We also found smoking was three times higher among the female drivers compared to other women in the US workforce[1]. Smoking may be higher among truckers because it may help combat fatigue[2].

Smoking increases your risk of[3]:

  • Cancer, including the lungs, bladder, blood, cervix, colon/rectal, kidneys, esophagus, liver, larynx, stomach, and pancreas
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Emphysema
  • Stroke

The CDC offers tips on how to quit smoking.

If you smoke because you are trying to stay awake, here are some other ways you can combat fatigue:

  • Get more than seven hours of sleep a night
  • Drink more water
  • Increase physical activity
  • Increase omega-3 fatty acids, which can boost your alertness when taken regularly
  • Loose extra weight by cutting down on portion sizes and trying to eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Eat smaller meals more often during the day to help steady your blood sugar level.

[1] Birdsey J, Sieber WK, Chen GX, Hitchcock EM, Lincoln JE, Nakara A, Robinson CF, Sweeney MH. 2015. National survey of  US long-haul truck driver health and injury: Health behaviors. JOEM. 57 (2); 210-216.
[2] Williamson A, Sadural S, Feyer AM, Friswell R. 2001. Driver Fatigue: A survey of professional long distance heavy vehicle drivers in Australia. Canberra, ACT: Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Accessed online December 18, 2013.
[3] CDC. Smoking and Tobacco Use webpage