Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em
WEDNESDAY, May 29 (HealthScoutNews) -- Where there's smoke, there are U.S. Air Force recruits.
A high proportion of recruits smoke cigarettes, says a new study from the University of Memphis Center for Community Health that appears in the May/June issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Of the more than 32,000 recruits who entered the Air Force between September 1995 and September 1996, 54 percent had smoked a cigarette at some point and 25 percent were daily smokers. But there were substantial differences according to gender and race.
The active smoking rate for white female recruits was 31.6 percent, compared to a low of 5.6 percent for African-American men. Overall, white and Native American recruits were most likely to smoke (29.9 percent and 24.4 percent, respectively) and were the least likely to quit smoking on their own before they joined the military, the study says.
Only 8.3 percent of African-American recruits and 16 percent of Hispanic recruits were smoking when they began basic training.
The researchers say the finding shows the smoking problem among Air Force recruits is as bleak, or bleaker, than previous research would suggest. It highlights the need for the Air Force to develop better programs to help recruits quit smoking.