Does the US Navy attract young women who smoke?

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Abstract

Objective

To assess whether the United States Navy is disproportionately attracting and recruiting female smokers from the civilian sector.

Methods

Standardised comparisons of cigarette use among Navy women recruits and civilian women were conducted with data from a 1996-97 Department of Defense study and the 1994 National Health Interview Survey.

Results

Young Navy women recruits (18-22 years) had significantly higher rates of current and heavy smoking than their civilian counterparts after adjusting for differences in sociodemographic characteristics. Smoking rates among older recruits and civilian women (23-30 years) were not significantly different.

Conclusions

It seems that the Navy attracts young civilian women who already smoke, many of whom smoke heavily.

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