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Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations
publicly so that military personnel, retirees, families, and other interested parties can independently assess the tobacco-cessation efforts that are being undertaken by DoD and the armed services, identify problems with the programs, and propose solutions to the problems.
Finding: DoD and the armed services appear to track andevaluate some important tobacco-related activities, such asrevenue from the sale of tobacco in commissaries andexchanges and a variety of tobacco-cessation metrics,including number of patients asked about their tobacco useand tobacco-cessation medications prescribed. However,important information gaps exist. Those gaps include ratesand types of tobacco advertising in military publications,abstinence rates for various tobacco-cessation programs,the number of policy changes that have been made inresponse to the 1999 DoD strategic plan, and the extent towhich the policies are enforced. If such information hasbeen collected, it is not publicly available, nor is there anyindication of how the OASD(HA) or the armed services’surgeons general should use the information or how itinforms policy and program changes by senior leaders.
Recommendation: DoD should report regularly andpublicly on the performance of its tobacco-controlprograms, adherence to clinical-practice guidelines fortobacco-use management, and tobacco-cessation rates.