POSTER OUTLINE –
Presented at the December 2014 meeting of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS).
Tobacco Product Usage Among Deployed Military Personnel in Afghanistan 2014
The prevalence of cigarette smoking among civilian, non-institutionalized US adults declined form 24.7% in 1997 to 17.4% in January-June 2013.
In 2008, 13.6% of non-deployed, active duty military personnel chewed tobacco.
In Afghanistan 2014, per our survey, 47% of military members used tobacco products and 17% chewed tobacco.
More males than females surveyed used tobacco products.
Seventeen percent of deployed military personnel used tobacco products during but not prior to deployment per our survey. During the deployment, 21% of tobacco product users further increased tobacco product usage. Anxiety/stress and craving/addiction were the 2 main factors influencing tobacco product usage.
Thirty percent of tobacco product users intend on stopping tobacco product usage upon return to the United States.
In conclusion, this data demonstrated the magnitude of the tobacco use problem among deployed military personnel. Tobacco product use is incompatible with the requirements for optimal health and physical readiness that are essential for military forces to perform at peak levels.
Strong leadership can continue to provide the changes in tobacco use policies to further strengthen our great military and those who serve and sacrifice to preserve our freedoms. We need an advocacy to encourage children and young adults to acquire awareness into the risks and consequences of smoking, along with federal, state and commercial investment in treatment and counseling programs.
Combined, families, health professionals, business and government certainly can move America towards a “smoke free” environment.
COL (CA) Al DiNicola, MD