Predicting smokeless tobacco initiation and re-initiation in the United States Air Force

Andrew Dunkle, Ryan Kalpinski, Jon Ebbert, Wayne Talcott, Robert Klesges, Melissa A. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Active Duty United States Air Force (USAF)members have substantially higher rates of smokeless tobacco (ST)use than the general population. Methods: We longitudinally assessed demographics, tobacco use, intrapersonal factors, and interpersonal factors to determine associations with the initiation or re-initiation of ST in the year following a period of forced abstinence among 2188 newly recruited Airmen. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine associations between baseline predictors and ST use at one-year follow-up. Results: In the final multivariate models compared to never users, the strongest predictors of ST use initiation after BMT were male gender (adjusted OR 8.93, 95% CI 3.82, 20.88), pre-BMT cigarette and cigar use (adjusted OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.00, 2.57; adjusted OR 2.50, 95% CI 1.66, 3.81 respectively). Compared to former ST users, the strongest predictors of re-initiation were male gender (adjusted OR 10.68, 95% CI 2.25, 50.62)and intentions to use ST (adjusted OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.42, 3.12). Compared to initiators of ST, the strongest predictors of re-initiation were intentions to use ST and peer use (adjusted OR 3.26, 95% CI 1.94, 5.49; OR 2.55, 95% CI 1.92, 3.41 respectively). Conclusions: Our results suggest that initiators may be exploring and viewing ST as a less harmful alternative to cigarette smoking and ST users reporting intentions to use ST in the future often return to use. The development of interventions able to disrupt the link between intentions to use tobacco and future tobacco use in the USAF is vital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100142
JournalAddictive Behaviors Reports
StatePublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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