Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of pubhealthrepPublic Health Reports
Public Health Rep. 1997 May-Jun; 112(3): 212–218.
PMCID: PMC1381994

Comparing the smoking behavior of veterans and nonveterans.


OBJECTIVES: The authors analyzed self-reported questionnaire data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES) to determine the smoking patterns of veterans. METHODS: Using NMES data, the authors compared veterans versus nonveterans overall, women veterans versus women nonveterans, Vietnam-era veterans versus other veterans, and veterans whose usual source of medical care was the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system versus veterans who received care elsewhere. RESULTS: The likelihood of ever having smoked cigarettes was higher for veterans than for nonveterans and for women veterans than for women nonveterans. The prevalence of current smoking was higher for veterans than for nonveterans and higher for those seeking care within the VA system than for other veterans. CONCLUSIONS: Given the enormous health care costs associated with smoking, health promotion efforts should be developed to reduce the high rate of smoking among veterans--especially those who are consumers of VA health care.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.7M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Joseph A, Korn J. Are veterans really different? The feasibility of smoke-free VA hospitals. JAMA. 1988 Sep 16;260(11):1551–1551. [PubMed]
  • Dawley HH, Jr, Butler B. An 8-year comparison of hospitalized veterans' attitudes toward smoking and smoking cessation. Int J Addict. 1987 Aug;22(8):785–790. [PubMed]
  • Blair A, Walrath J, Rogot E. Mortality patterns among U.S. veterans by occupation. I. Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1985 Dec;75(6):1039–1047. [PubMed]
  • Richlie DG, Winters S, Prochazka AV. Dyslipidemia in veterans. Multiple risk factors may break the bank. Arch Intern Med. 1991 Jul;151(7):1433–1436. [PubMed]
  • Dawley HH, Jr, Williams JL, Dawley LT, Fleischer B. A 12-year comparison of hospitalized veterans' attitudes toward smoking and smoking cessation. Int J Addict. 1989 Oct;24(10):941–949. [PubMed]
  • Short PF, Lefkowitz DC. Encouraging preventive services for low-income children. The effect of expanding Medicaid. Med Care. 1992 Sep;30(9):766–780. [PubMed]
  • Klevens RM, Giovino GA, Peddicord JP, Nelson DE, Mowery P, Grummer-Strawn L. The association between veteran status and cigarette-smoking behaviors. Am J Prev Med. 1995 Jul-Aug;11(4):245–250. [PubMed]
  • Bray RM, Marsden ME, Peterson MR. Standardized comparisons of the use of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes among military personnel and civilians. Am J Public Health. 1991 Jul;81(7):865–869. [PubMed]
  • Feigelman W. Cigarette smoking among former military service personnel: a neglected social issue. Prev Med. 1994 Mar;23(2):235–241. [PubMed]
  • Kroutil LA, Bray RM, Marsden ME. Cigarette smoking in the U.S. military: findings from the 1992 Worldwide Survey. Prev Med. 1994 Jul;23(4):521–528. [PubMed]
  • Cronan TA, Conway TL. Is the Navy attracting or creating smokers? Mil Med. 1988 Apr;153(4):175–178. [PubMed]
  • Blake GH. Smoking and the military. N Y State J Med. 1985 Jul;85(7):354–356. [PubMed]
  • Gronvall JA. Medical care of low-income veterans in the VA health care system. Health Aff (Millwood) 1987 Spring;6(1):167–175. [PubMed]
  • Hughes JR, Hatsukami DK, Mitchell JE, Dahlgren LA. Prevalence of smoking among psychiatric outpatients. Am J Psychiatry. 1986 Aug;143(8):993–997. [PubMed]
  • Hsing AW, McLaughlin JK, Hrubec Z, Blot WJ, Fraumeni JF., Jr Cigarette smoking and liver cancer among US veterans. Cancer Causes Control. 1990 Nov;1(3):217–221. [PubMed]
  • Zahm SH, Heineman EF, Vaught JB. Soft tissue sarcoma and tobacco use: data from a prospective cohort study of United States veterans. Cancer Causes Control. 1992 Jul;3(4):371–376. [PubMed]
  • Hsing AW, McLaughlin JK, Hrubec Z, Blot WJ, Fraumeni JF., Jr Tobacco use and prostate cancer: 26-year follow-up of US veterans. Am J Epidemiol. 1991 Mar 1;133(5):437–441. [PubMed]
  • Kinlen LJ, Rogot E. Leukaemia and smoking habits among United States veterans. BMJ. 1988 Sep 10;297(6649):657–659. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • McLaughlin JK, Hrubec Z, Blot WJ, Fraumeni JF., Jr Smoking and cancer mortality among U.S. veterans: a 26-year follow-up. Int J Cancer. 1995 Jan 17;60(2):190–193. [PubMed]
  • Harris RE, Hebert JR, Wynder EL. Cancer risk in male veterans utilizing the Veterans Administration medical system. Cancer. 1989 Sep 1;64(5):1160–1168. [PubMed]
  • Joseph AM, O'Neil PJ. The Department of Veterans Affairs smoke-free policy. JAMA. 1992 Jan 1;267(1):87–90. [PubMed]
  • Hagey A. Implementation of a smoking policy in the United States Army. N Y State J Med. 1989 Jan;89(1):42–44. [PubMed]
  • Joseph AM. Is Congress blowing smoke at the VA? JAMA. 1994 Oct 19;272(15):1215–1216. [PubMed]

Articles from Public Health Reports are provided here courtesy of SAGE Publications