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Mil Med. 2005 Oct;170(10):874-80.

The cigarette manufacturers' efforts to promote tobacco to the U.S. military.

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  • 1Minneapolis VAMC, Section of General Internal Medicine (111-0), One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA.


This article describes findings from review of tobacco industry documents regarding promotion of tobacco to the military, and efforts to influence Department of Defense policies regarding the use and sale of tobacco products. The documents reveal that the industry has targeted the military for decades for reasons including: (1) the volume of worldwide military personnel; (2) the opportunity to attract young men who fit a specific socioeconomic and cultural profile; (3) potential carryover of profits to civilian markets; and (4) the unusual price structure of commissaries and exchanges. The industry used distinctive promotion methods such as in-store merchandising, sponsorships, and even brand development to target the military, both in the United States and abroad during times of conflict. Legislative activity to protect tobacco promotion to this vulnerable population was carried out in response to smoking policy changes proposed by the Department of Defense. The tobacco industry has contributed to the high prevalence of smoking in the military and among veterans.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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