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 and evaluate some important tobacco-related activities, such as revenue from the sale of tobacco in commissaries and exchanges and a variety of tobacco-cessation metrics, including number of patients asked about their tobacco use and tobacco-cessation medications prescribed. However, important information gaps exist. Those gaps include rates and types of tobacco advertising in military publications, abstinence rates for various tobacco-cessation programs, the number of policy changes that have been made in response to the 1999 DoD strategic plan, and the extent to which the policies are enforced. If such information has been collected, it is not publicly available, nor is there any indication of how the OASD(HA) or the armed services’ surgeons general should use the information or how it informs policy and program changes by senior leaders.
Recommendation: DoD should report regularly and publicly on the performance of its tobacco-control programs, adherence to clinical-practice guidelines for tobacco-use management, and tobacco-cessation rates.
Army. 2006. Technical Report: Tobacco Cessation Program Comparison. Health Promotion and Prevention Initiatives Program. MCHB-TS-HPR. http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/dhpw/population/Documents/HPPI_Summary_STIs.pdf (accessed November 13, 2008).
Army. 2008. Memorandum: Tobacco Cessation Analysis—Camp Cropper, Iraq (July 2007). Camp Cropper, Iraq. http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/dhpw/Population/TobaccoCessationReportCampCropper.pdf (accessed December 21, 2008).