Title

The dynamics of cigarette smoking during military service in Syria

Abstract

SETTING: Understanding the dynamics of smoking in different populations is important to be able to tackle this problem rationally. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey in a military school near Aleppo. Three groups of recruits were studied (total number of participants 596). The mean age of new draftees (group I) was 19.8 ± 0.02 years, that of draftees after 6 months of service (group II) was 19.7 ± 0.02 years, and that of draftees after 2 years of service (group III) was 21 ± 0.02 years. RESULTS: Current and daily smoking was observed among respectively 46.1% and 34.1% of participants. Daily smokers smoked 17.8 ± 0.7 cigarettes per day. Within a 2-year interval, current smoking increased from 43.2% to 55.1% (P = 0.01), and daily consumption from 15 to 23.8 cigarettes/day (P < 0.001). Smoking among draftee groups I and II was compared with age-matched male university students (314 first year students aged 19.1 ± 0.04 years and 262 third year students aged 21.3 ± 0.05 years). Current smoking among recruits was higher at entry and after 2 years than that of age-matched civilians (P < 0.001), but the 2-year increase was not (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Although military service in Syria is a scene of intensive smoking dynamics, it cannot be implicated in creating smokers.

Publication Title

International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

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