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Objective: Smoking is a highly preventable risk factor. The present study investigates whether military operations abroad, as compared to deployment preparation, increase the risk of starting to smoke, enhance tobacco dependence and moderator variables can be identified on smoking behavior. Method: The study was conducted at 2 mechanized infantry battalions with N=264 soldiers. The task force completed a deployment in Afghanistan, the control group performed a deployment training. Assessments of tobacco dependence, posttraumatic symptoms, depression and stress were done before (t1) and after (t3) deployment. In addition, one assessment was done at mid-point (t2) during deployment and during the pre-deployment training, respectively. Results: The prevalence rate of smoking soldiers was 56,4%. 51,1% (n=135) of all examined soldiers smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day. The results show a significant increase of tobacco dependence in the task force from t1 to t3 (p=0,040) as compared to the control group. For both groups, there was no increase in starting to smoke during the period of investigation (χ²<1; n. s.). Moderator variables on smoking were not found, but there was a significant increase in posttraumatic stress symptoms in the deployed group (p=0,006). Conclusions: Perhaps the increase in tobacco dependence in the experimental group can be attributed to the specific burdens of deployment. If high smoking rates were to be found also in other branches of the armed services, effective smoking cessation programs should be offered more widely.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Gesundheitswesen (Bundesverband der Arzte des Offentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Germany))
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Tobacco used to the detriment of a person's health or social functioning. Tobacco dependence is included.
The aggregate business enterprise of agriculture, manufacture, and distribution related to tobacco and tobacco-derived products.
Use of TOBACCO (Nicotiana tabacum L) and TOBACCO PRODUCTS.
Inhaling and exhaling the smoke of tobacco or something similar to tobacco.
Items used to aid in ending a TOBACCO habit.
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