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The US Navy utilizes numerous resources to encourage smoking cessation. Despite these efforts, cigarette smoking among service members remains high. Electronic cigarettes (EC) have provided an additional cessation resource. Little is known regarding the utilization efficacy of these cessation resources in the US Navy.
This study sought to explore the utilization and efficacy of ECs and other smoking cessation resources.
An anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted at a military clinic from 2015 to 2016. Participants were active duty in the US Navy and reported demographics, smoking behaviors, and utilization of cessation resources.
Of the 977 participants in the study, 14.9% were current and 39.4% were former smokers. Most current smokers (83.6%) previously attempted cessation, smoked an average of 2–5 cigarettes per day (34.7%), and smoked every day of the month (26.4%). The number of daily cigarettes smoked and number of days cigarettes were smoked per month was not significantly different between cigarette-only smokers and EC dual users (p = 0.92, p = 0.75, respectively). Resources used by current and former smokers include: ‘cold turkey’ (44.6%, 57.1%, respectively), ECs (22.3%, 24.7%), nicotine patch (8.3%, 1.3%), medicine (6.6%, 3.9%), nicotine gum (5.8%, 10.4%), and quit programs (2.5%, 2.6).
Current and former cigarette smokers utilized similar resources to quit smoking. Electronic cigarettes are being used for cessation but do not significantly reduce the number of cigarettes smoked on a daily or monthly basis. Future studies may benefit from exploring the use of cessation resources and ECs within the military as a whole.