The Relationship between Veteran Status and Smoking

Lucky M. Tedrow, Western Washington University
Philip Pendergast, Western Washington University

About 10-12% of young men have served a term in the military. However, we know rather little about the consequences of military service for the lives of those who serve. In this paper, we provide estimates of the relationship between peacetime military service during the All-volunteer Era (AVE) and smoking behaviors using data taken from the National Longitudinal Survey of 1979 (NLSY-79). Ever smoking and continued smoking by veterans are strongly related to multiple dimensions of poor health (Bondurant and Wedge 2009; Cornfield, Haenszel, Hammond, Lilienfeld, Shimkin and Wynder 2009; Wynder 1988). Using multivariate logistic regression with numerous controls for selectivity into the military, we find that veterans of active-duty military service are similar to veterans of reserve duty on ever having smoked and that veterans of active duty military service are less likely to stop smoking. Both social and institutional influences are offered as potential reasons for the differences.

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Presented in Poster Session 5