Tobacco Use and Perceived Financial Strain Among Junior Enlisted in the U.S. Military in 2002

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Preventive Medicine


Objective: The detrimental health effects of tobacco use have long been documented and accepted. Recent research has begun to explore the financial strain that tobacco places on those who use it (e.g. Mokdad, A.H., Marks, J.S., Stroup, D.F., Gerberding, J.L., 2004. Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 291, 1239-1245). The issue of this financial burden is particularly salient for young enlisted in the military who often struggle with financial issues and who continue to use tobacco at relatively high rates.

Methods: Using the 2002 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors among Military Personnel, the current study examines the percentage of income young military members spend on tobacco given varying levels of consumption. In addition, a representative sample of junior enlisted (E1-E4) from all four military branches were surveyed about their tobacco use and their experiences of financial strain and experienced stress from financial problems.

Results: Adjusted logistic models demonstrated that smokers reported substantially higher amounts of both financial strain and stress from financial problems then those who did not smoke.

Conclusions: This study suggests there is a relationship between financial stress and tobacco use among junior military members.



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tobacco, smoking, military