Experiences & Patterns of Tobacco Use in the Army


Name: Jenenne Nelson


Organization: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Performance Site: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; Beth El-College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Colorado Springs, CO; Fort Carson, CO

Year Published: 2004

Abstract Status: Final


Tobacco is commonly used throughout the United States and it is one of the leading causes of preventable death. Tobacco use patterns and experiences are shaped by culture (Unger et al., 2003). Culture is a common set of norms that help groups organize themselves, and provide individuals with a sense of continuity and community (Nichter, 2003). The military has its own culture, with a unique set of norms. Historically, military members use tobacco to relieve the "tedium of war." In fact, tobacco became a symbol of camaraderie and patriotism in WWII when free cigarettes were offered to those in uniform (Tobacco in History, 2005). The study purpose was to explore experiences and patterns of tobacco use in soldiers. To fully examine how Army culture influences tobacco use, an ethnographic study was made of patterns, practices, and experiences of soldiers who used tobacco, quit using tobacco, returned to tobacco use, and abstained from tobacco. This study uncovered a possible health-promotion intervention related to tobacco cessation, an ONS research priority. This study is significant to oncology nursing because it provides insight and understanding to the possible development of an aggregate intervention that might reduce tobacco use, cancers, and other diseases caused by tobacco, and the economic and personal costs associated with cancer. The final recommendations from this study include (1) limiting tobacco use in uniform, (2) restricting tobacco use on post, (3) allowing limited tobacco use on post but move the areas where it is permitted and develop tobacco-use guidelines, (4) cover all forms of tobacco use in the Army Regulations, (5) allow no tobacco sales in post exchanges, (6) provide tobacco cessation interventions immediately after BMT, (7) develop military-specific tobacco interventions, (8) require supervisors to communicate tobacco cessation, (9) reward soldiers for not using tobacco, and (10) ease access to tobacco intervention programs.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2008105187.xhtml