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Smoking among males in the UK Armed Forces: Changes over a seven year period

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

N. T. Fear, O. Horn, L. Hull, D. Murphy, M. Jones, T. Browne, M. Hotopf, S. Wessely, R. J. Rona

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282 - 284
Number of pages3
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume50
Issue number5-6
DOIs
PublishedMay 2010

King's Authors

Abstract

Objectives. We assessed socio-demographic and military factors associated with smoking among males in the UK Armed Forces; made comparisons with the general population; and, tested the hypothesis that smoking has declined in the Armed Forces. Methods. Using data from two cross-sectional studies (conducted in 1998 and 2004), we examined the patterns of smoking among regular male UK Service personnel aged 20-49 years and made comparisons with general population data from England. Scotland and Wales. Results. In 2004, the prevalence of smoking among military males aged 20-49 years was 30% (n = 2276), compared to 33% within the general population. Among current smokers, the mean number of cigarettes smoked per day was 15 for the military and 14 for the general population. The prevalence of smoking has decreased in lower ranks between 1998 and 2004 by 5.1% in 20-24 year olds to 6.3% in 35-49 year olds. These decreases are similar to those seen within those in the routine, manual or intermediate socioeconomic group. Conclusions. Smoking among males in the UK military is associated with similar factors to those in the general population. As these factors are clustered in younger personnel, policies to decrease smoking should be targeted at younger recruits. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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