committee was unable to determine whether these clinics do so, inasmuch as it does not appear that this information is collected or is made public if it is collected.
Finding: Lack of easy access to tobacco-cessation medications may pose a barrier to military personnel seeking to quit tobacco use. Military health providers see all military personnel at least once a year; this is an ideal opportunity for all of them to motivate and counsel personnel who use tobacco to quit.
Recommendation: DoD should consider allowing health educators to provide medications, especially NRTs, to patients interested in quitting tobacco use. Medical providers should receive training and be encouraged to use the 5 A’s for tobacco cessation.
Military personnel have access to several quitlines. The first source is the National Cancer Institute quitline; the second is the state quitlines, which are generally open to residents of the individual states; and the third is quitlines that have been contracted to provide services to military personnel. For example, the Air Force encourages bases to fund their own quitlines; if they are unable to do so, they are to promote their states’ quitlines (Loftus, 2008). As of July 2008, 30 of 76 Air Force bases had contracted telephone quitlines. The Air Force is also working to obtain funding for an Air Force–wide telephone quitline so that individual bases do not need to contract for these services on their own (Kathy Green, US Air Force, personal communication, July 30, 2008). The Army and the Navy do not appear to have similar requirements. The committee was unable to determine whether Army or Navy installations have contracted with commercial quitlines or with state quitlines to offer tobacco-cessation services to military personnel. The committee further notes that although the Air Force is to be commended in encouraging the use of quitlines, it does not provide guidance to health-promotion staff or installation commanders on which quitlines are the most helpful or provide the best services. There is no information on the training received by quitline counselors to deal with military personnel. Counselors should be familiar with military terminology and jargon and with the stressors and triggers for tobacco use in military personnel, particularly deployment.