Navigation Links
DOD, VA should take stronger steps to combat tobacco use in military, veteran populations
Date:6/26/2009

WASHINGTON -- Because tobacco use impairs military readiness, harms the health of soldiers and veterans, and imposes a substantial financial burden on the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, these agencies should implement a comprehensive strategy to achieve the Defense Department's stated goal of a tobacco-free military, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. DOD should gradually phase in a ban on tobacco use in the military, starting at military academies and officer training programs and among new recruits, the report says. DOD should also stop selling tobacco products in Army and Air Force commissaries -- Navy and Marine Corps commissaries already do not sell them -- and should stop selling them at a discount in military exchanges and other stores. In addition, Congress should allow VA to establish tobacco-free medical centers.

The report was requested by DOD and VA, who asked the Institute of Medicine to identify policies and practices that could lower rates of smoking and help soldiers and veterans quit.

Tobacco use reduces soldiers' physical fitness and endurance and is linked to higher rates of absenteeism and lost productivity, the report says. In 2005, 32 percent of active-duty personnel and 22 percent of veterans were smokers; rates among active-duty personnel have recently increased, possibly because of growing tobacco use by deployed troops.

"We found that the adverse effects of tobacco use on military readiness, the health of both smokers and nonsmokers, and the financial cost of the medical care of smoking-related illness in military and veteran populations are a sound basis for moving systematically toward a tobacco-free military," said Stuart Bondurant, professor of medicine and dean emeritus of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and chair of the committee that wrote the report. "The state of the art in tobacco control is such that with well-managed programs, DOD and VA could eventually be tobacco free with minimal disruption, and with substantial benefit to military personnel and veterans."

DOD and VA should ensure that all personnel have quick and easy access to comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco-cessation services, the report says. All DOD and VA health care providers should be able to provide brief counseling and nicotine-replacement therapy to patients. In addition, the committee recommended that VA and DOD develop toll-free "quitlines" to provide military personnel and veterans with counseling on quitting tobacco. Quitline counselors should be trained to deal with issues related to these populations, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Defense Department should set a date by which the military will be tobacco-free and require each of the four services to develop and enforce a timeline for achieving this goal, the report says. Recognizing that immediately banning tobacco use in deployed personnel is not realistic, the committee urged an incremental strategy, starting with closing the pipeline of new tobacco users entering the military. Smoking should be banned at military academies, and the current ban on tobacco use during basic training should be extended to include subseqent technical training. That ban could eventually be extended to all new enlistees, who would be informed during recruitment that they would be expected to remain tobacco-free during their entire military careers.

Eventually, all military installations and active-duty personnel should be required to be tobacco-free -- a goal that could realistically be achieved in 20 years or even sooner, if the plan's initial phase for military academies and new recruits starts within a year, the report says.

Only with assistance from DOD and VA will tobacco use be stopped, the report says, and ideally DOD should not sell tobacco products as they inhibit military readiness. As a first step, DOD should prohibit tobacco sales in Army and Air Force commissaries and stop selling tobacco products at a discount in other military stores. Congress should direct DOD to sell any tobacco products in military exchanges at prices equal to those in the civilian sector, and preferably higher.

Congressional action is also necessary to allow VA to implement tobacco-free medical facilities. The VA's efforts to do so have been hampered by the language of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992, which requires them to maintain smoking areas for veterans and employees. This act should be repealed, the report says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sara Frueh
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. What should a teenage girl do if she finds a lump in her breast?
2. Should All Kids Be Screened for Depression? This Expert Says Yes and Explains How It Can Save Lives
3. Fears About Pregnancy and cats Should not stop Those who want to Adopt a cat
4. Linwood Group Research Suggests 3 Questions Everyone Should Ask When Choosing an Alcoholic Residential Centre
5. Neutral Factfinder Rules That Fresno County Home Care Wage Cuts Should Be Stopped
6. More Than 9 in 10 Primary Care Physicians Say U.S. Health Care System Should Place Greater Emphasis on Nutrition to Manage Chronic Disease
7. First-degree relatives of patients with bicuspid aortic valve should be screened
8. New From the Heinz Family Philanthropies: 10 New Questions Families Should Ask Before Choosing Long-Term Care
9. Oral Health Should Never Be Compromised
10. H1N1: What You Should Know
11. Heinz Family Philanthropies (www.heinzfamily.org) Release Questions Families Should Ask About Long-Term Care - 10 Questions to Answer...(www.tenquestionstoanswer.org)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob ... sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational ... and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: ... souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is ... Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an industry leader ... range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American Healthcare Association ... held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ... introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad ... comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ... conference call and webcast on Friday, November 3, 2017, ... and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 ... company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom ... to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial outlook through ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., ... vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced the launch ... the development of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax ... provided exclusive access to enabling technologies to the ... MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in cloud-based revenue cycle ... ranked #1 by its users for the seventh consecutive year ... ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end revenue cycle management ... 200 beds and holds one of the longest #1 ranking ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: