Does Smoking Status Differ by Veteran Status in Young Adult Males?




Newman, Clare PA-S
Hammond, Haley PA-S
Potter, Paige PA-S
Tompkins, Ava PA-S
Diver, Thomas MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA
Hartos, Jessica


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Introduction: Cigarette smoking is widespread among veterans, but few studies have assessed smoking behavior in younger veterans or between young veterans and non-veterans. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether veteran status is related to smoking status in young adult males. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used 2014 BRFSS data for males ages 18-40 from Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between veteran status and smoking status, while controlling for age, ethnicity/race, education level, employment status, income level, mental health, and depression. Results: In all five states, the majority of young adult males reported current smoking (59-64%) and few were veterans (10-17%). After controlling for demographic and psychosocial factors, smoking status was not significantly related to veteran status but was significantly related to age and education level (moderate effect sizes) in three of the five states. Conclusions: Overall, smoking status is not significantly related to veteran status in general population samples of young adult males. Smoking remains prevalent in this age group but probably at a lower percentage than reported in this study. Limitations of the study include dichotomous variables and cross-sectional study design. Practitioners should screen young adult males for smoking status, educate patients on the relationship of tobacco use and health, and provide guidance and referrals for smoking cessation.