during the 1980s and 1990s, as it did in the civilian world. At the same time, smokeless tobacco gained popularity, especially in the Marine Corps, where almost half of all young men under the age of 25 were reported to be users (Moyer, 2000).
Many of the military’s smokers picked up the habit before entering military service. A 1988 survey of Navy recruits, for example, suggested that 28 percent were cigarette smokers when they began boot camp. Around the same period, the Worldwide Survey of Substance Abuse showed that nearly half of the Army’s enlisted personnel in the junior pay grades (E-1 to E-3) were smokers, while the comparable rates for the other Services were 39 percent in the Marine Corps, 37 percent in the Navy, and 29 percent in the Air Force (Moyer, 2000:13).
Results from the DoD Survey of Health-Related Behaviors conducted in 2002 shows that cigarette smoking is widespread in all branches of the military, although not more widespread than among civilians with comparable demographic characteristics (Bray, 2004). This particular survey (discussed further in a later section) also indicates that nearly one-third of the military’s smokers brought the habit with them when they joined.
Currently, there are no enlistment standards with respect to the use of tobacco or cigarette smoking. However, there has been considerable interest in the military research community on the consequences of smoking on a variety of outcomes, such as health costs and first-term attrition. Several studies have found that cigarette smokers have elevated first-term attrition rates and have suggested that tobacco smoking—perhaps in combination with other applicant characteristics—might be the basis for improved screening techniques. Consequently, this section presents a summary of enlistment standards issues with regard to cigarette smoking and discusses steps DoD might consider in dealing with smoking behavior.
Figure 7-4 shows trends in cigarette smoking during the past 30 days for all high school seniors from 1977 to 2004. Two indicators are used: the percentage who smoked cigarettes at any time during the past 30 days and those who smoked daily. The rate of recent daily smoking is probably a better indicator of nicotine dependence; and this rate is about 10 points lower than recent episodic smoking. Generally, both indicators of smoking rates declined during the 1970s, remained fairly flat during the 1980s, and began increasing during the 1990s (when marijuana use also began rising). Cigarette smoking rates reached a peak in 1997, and then the rates began declining. By 2003, both rates had reached historic lows of 24 percent for any smoking and 16 percent for daily smoking. The Monitoring