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Tobacco use prevention and cessation programs in the U.S. Navy.

  • T L Conway
  • S L Hurtado
  • S I Woodruff
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1993
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Psychology


A representative sample of 406 U.S. Navy commands, including all medical treatment facilities, was surveyed in 1990 about their activities and programs to prevent the use of tobacco and promote smoking cessation during the preceding year. The vast majority of Navy commands (86 percent) provided some type of tobacco cessation educational materials or programs. However, the most common activities typically were rated as only "somewhat useful" in helping to curb tobacco use. Almost one-half of all commands offered psychological or behavioral cessation programs. Survey respondents estimated that approximately one-third of those persons who attended such a program stopped their tobacco use and nearly one-half reduced their tobacco use as a result of the program. Over-the-counter smoking cessation aids were not widely available at Navy exchange stores, individual commands, or medical treatment facilities. Furthermore, only 61 percent of all commands reported that they had a written policy or instruction regarding tobacco use. Only about one-third of medical treatment facilities had a routine system for identifying tobacco users by glancing at their medical records. However, it was estimated that 80 percent of medical treatment facility physicians routinely asked their patients about their tobacco use. The authors discuss the need for a more active Navy approach in prevention and cessation efforts and a routine system for identifying tobacco users from their medical records. In addition, inequities in cessation efforts were found among command subgroups.

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