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Free Content The dynamics of cigarette smoking during military service in Syria

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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.
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Keywords: Syria; military recruits; smoking

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Aleppo School of Medicine, Aleppo, Syria 2: Aleppo Directorate of Health, Aleppo, Syria 3: Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California, USA

Publication date: 2001-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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