Quitlines tailored to meet the needs of military personnel are being studied, but results are not yet available. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Air Force are sponsoring a study to assess the effectiveness of a tobacco quitline program (in conjunction with nicotine patches) in helping active-duty Air Force personnel to quit smoking (http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00632411).
Finding: Quitlines may be particularly helpful for military personnel in that they can be accessed remotely and are generally available during nonwork hours when military personnel may be more likely to access them.
Recommendation: DoD and the armed services should explore, possibly via a demonstration program, the effectiveness of having either a DoD-wide or servicewide quitline with counselors trained to work with military personnel, their families, and retirees; such a quitline should be evidence-based and validated.
DoD has been active in promoting computer-based tobacco-cessation services. Its primary resource is the “Quit Tobacco. Make Everyone Proud” Web site, which provides all military personnel and their dependents with tobacco-cessation advice. An important feature of the Web site is the link to a live tobacco-cessation counselor who can provide real-time advice. The site was discussed earlier in the section “Counteradvertising and Public Education.”
DoD also has educational information about tobacco use on its “Military OneSource” Web site (http://www.militaryonesource.com), which may be accessed by all service personnel and their families. The Web site contains articles about tobacco use and cessation, audios, worksheets, booklets, and other materials, including information on smoking and pregnancy and on smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. There is also a link to the “Quit Tobacco. Make Everyone Proud” site. The committee notes that this site contains “toolkits” with a variety of information to deal with such issues as Internet security, applying to college, and weight loss; this might be expanded to include a similar tobacco-cessation toolkit.
Each armed service has a health-promotion Web site that provides patient-education materials. For example, the Army has information about tobacco control on the CHPPM Web site (see Box 5-1); more patient-education materials are found at the Army HOOAH 4