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Effects of the Wars on Smoking Among Veterans



Lori A. Bastian, MD, MPH1,2 and Scott E. Sherman, MD, MPH 3,4 Medical Center, Durham, VA, USA; 2Division of General Internal Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; 3VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, New York, NY, USA; 4Section of Geriatric Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA. KEYWORDS: smoking; veterans; tobacco control efforts. J Gen Intern Med 25(2):102–3 DOI: 10.1007/s11606-009-1224-1 © Society of General Internal Medicine 2010 lthough smoking rates in the US declined by 50% between 1965 and 2005, about 21% of adults are current smokers.1,2 The prevalence of smoking is estimated to be up to 40% higher in veterans than in the general population.3,4 The total burden of Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care costs associated with smoking range from 8% to 24%.5 While the VA has increased its efforts to fight the “war” on smoking,6 actual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are producing veterans who are smoking at alarming rates. The prevalence of smoking among veterans returning from recent wars is similar to that of the US adult population during the late 1960s.7 While a minority of veterans use the VA for health care, it nevertheless provides a useful system in which to



Journal of General Internal MedicineSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 1, 2010

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-009-1224-1

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