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Mil Med. 1996 Jan;161(1):37-42.

Survey of smokeless tobacco use in basic trainees and armor basic course officers.

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  • 1United States Army Dental Activity, Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency, Fort Knox, KY 40121, USA.

Abstract

In this study an all-male population of 256 U.S. Army basic trainees and 98 armor officer basic course students were surveyed concerning extent of use, knowledge of, and factors contributing to the use of smokeless tobacco (ST). The survey was administered at a dental clinic at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The data were analyzed using the SPSS computer software program. Results showed that more than 17% of this population were either occasional or regular users of ST. Nearly 24% had tried ST and more than 9% were former users. Exactly one-half had not tried ST. A typical user was white, had started ST use at age 14, had used it for 4 years, and was most likely to use snuff or dip. Higher educational level achieved was associated with increased likelihood of ST use. Nearly 22% of college graduates used ST, whereas only 15.3% of high school graduates or those with some college were users. Knowledge about the potential health effects of ST was generally high or moderately high, except for its ability to cause hypertension. This was true for both high school and college graduates, although college graduates were somewhat more informed. Few in this population had a personal attitude of approval toward ST use, and very few perceived that either their parents or their superiors in the military approved of ST use. Perceived attitude of approval was highest from friends and peers. The principle reasons for starting ST use were use by friends and curiosity about taste and effects. Influence from public figures, such as athletes, and from advertising was minimal. Enjoyment of flavor and taste was found to be the main reason for continued ST use. Health professionals were identified by the majority of respondents as the single most important information source on ST. Relatively few (27%), however, stated that their dentist or hygienist had ever discussed ST with them.

PMID:
11082750
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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