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Addict Behav. 2008 Jan;33(1):69-82. Epub 2007 Jul 13.

Prevalence of alternative forms of tobacco use in a population of young adult military recruits.

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  • 1Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice (CRIISP), VA Medical Center, 601 Highway 6 West, Mail Stop 152, Iowa City, IA 52246, United States.


Recent evidence suggests that the popularity of certain alternative forms of tobacco may be increasing in adolescents. Little is known, however, about the use of these products among young adults. This study examined the use of alternative tobacco products including bidis, cigars, kreteks (clove cigarettes), pipes, and smokeless tobacco in a large sample of young adult military recruits (N=31107). Overall, 18.5% of participants were using some form of alternative tobacco product prior to entry into Basic Military Training. Results revealed a relatively high prevalence of cigar (12.3%) and smokeless tobacco use (6.7%). Use of other products was less common, including 1.1% for pipes, 2.0% for bidis, and 3.0% for kreteks. With the exception of kreteks, which did not differ by gender, the prevalence of use of alternative tobacco products was greater for males than for females (p<.001). Patterns of use also differed according to other demographic characteristics including race, ethnicity, age, and income. Implications for surveillance and tobacco control efforts are discussed.

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