Prevalence and correlates of tobacco and nicotine containing product use in a sample of United States air force trainees

Melissa A. Little, Karen J. Derefinko, Zoran Bursac, Jon O. Ebbert, Lauren Colvin, Gerald W. Talcott, Ann S. Hryshko-Mullen, Phyllis A. Richey, Robert C. Klesges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although there is increasing attention to the prevalence of new and emerging tobacco products in the civilian population, remarkably little is known about the current prevalence of these products in a military population. Methods: The current investigation was designed to determine the prevalence of tobacco and nicotine containing products (TNCP) and correlates of use across multiple cohorts of trainees undergoing Technical Training in the US Air Force between April 2013 and December 2014. Chi-square test, Cochran-Armitage test for linear trend, and logistic regression models were applied to test differences and linear trends across time for TNCP use as well as correlates of use in a cross-sectional sample of 13 685 Airmen (final analytic sample). Results: Over a quarter (26.9%) of Airmen reported regular use of a TNCP. The two most prevalent products were cigarettes (11.2%) and hookah (10.5%). Among correlates of use, Airmen that regularly use TNCPs were more likely to be male, younger, non-Hispanic white, and single with a high school degree or General Education Development. Hookah was the most endorsed for intentions to use, and along with e-cigarettes, had the lowest perception of harm. While prevalence of most products remained constant across entering cohorts, the prevalence of e-cigarettes showed significant linear increase. Conclusions: The prevalence of TNCP use is high across cohorts of Airmen. Remarkably high estimates of future intentions to use and low perceptions of harm for emerging products suggest that intervention efforts should be directed at multiple forms of TNCP use to address this important public health issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-423
Number of pages8
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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