TABLE 7-4 12-Month Attrition Rates by Smoking Status

 

No Attrition

Attrition

Total

% Attrition

% Prevalence

ARMYa

None

12,232

2,031

14,263

14.2

49.7

<Daily

4,585

781

5,356

14.6

18.7

Daily

7,024

2,043

9,067

22.5

31.6

Totals

23,841

4,855

28,686

16.9

100.0

NAVYb

None

3,482

811

4,293

18.9

49.2

Light

2,201

741

2,942

25.2

33.7

Heavy

951

547

1,498

36.5

17.2

Totals

6,634

2,099

8,733

24.0

100.0

aSmoking defined by frequency of smoking during 6 months before the delayed entry program.

bSmoking defined by volume “until recently”; heavy = 1 pack a day or more.

the higher recruiting costs associated with excluding a significant portion of the youth population.

A summary of 12-month attrition rates for the Army and Navy studies is shown in Table 7-4. We stress that the Army and Navy studies defined smoking differently. The Army distinguished among frequency categories, with daily smoking being the highest (during the six months before the delayed entry program); the Navy distinguished the quantity of recent smoking, with a pack or more a day being defined as a heavy smoker.

For the Army, the 12-month attrition rate was 22 percent for daily smokers compared with 14 percent for nonsmokers. This 8-point difference is comparable to the 7-point difference found for the Air Force. The Army study also found that there is no elevated attrition for light smokers, consisting of everyone who smoked less than daily. The prevalence of daily smoking is 32 percent; therefore, excluding daily smokers from the Army would clearly raise recruiting costs appreciably, thereby under-scoring the importance of a cost-performance trade-off analysis.

In the Navy study, the 12-month attrition of heavy smokers (those smoking at least a pack a day) is nearly twice that of nonsmokers, 36 percent compared with 19 percent. The attrition rate of light smokers (25 percent) is also elevated, but to a much lesser extent. The prevalence of heavy smokers is only 17 percent; excluding them would therefore not raise recruiting costs as much as excluding daily smokers in the Army. Of



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