Influence of gender on initiation of tobacco and nicotine containing product use among U.S. Air Force trainees

Christi A. Patten, Xin Qun Wang, Melissa A. Little, Jon O. Ebbert, Gerald W. Talcott, Ann S. Hryshko-Mullen, Robert Klesges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Military personnel are a subgroup of young adults at risk for tobacco and nicotine containing product (TNCP) use. This study of US Air Force (USAF) trainees who were never users of TNCPs examined gender, peer tobacco use, and tobacco use intentions as predictors of TNCP initiation after Basic Military Training (BMT). We used a longitudinal cohort assessment study design with baseline and 1-year surveys completed (2011–2016) among 2393 USAF trainees: 73% men, 95% aged 18–25 years, 36% racial minorities. Overall, initiation of any TNCP use at 1-year was 23% (20% women, 24% men). From a multivariable multinomial logistic regression model predicting TNCP use at 1-year follow-up, significant 2-way interactions were detected between gender and number of close friends using tobacco before BMT (p = 0.015), and between gender and tobacco use intentions (p < 0.0001). Women reporting almost all or many close friends used tobacco were more likely to report TNCP use compared to women with none (Odds ratio [OR] = 5.8, 95% CI 2.5–13.5, Bonferroni corrected p < 0.0001). Having close friends using tobacco had little influence on TNCP use among men. Men with tobacco use intentions were more likely to report TNCP use compared to men having no intentions (OR = 8.0, 95% CI: 4.7–13.6, Bonferroni corrected p < 0.001), but tobacco use intentions had little influence among women. In this sample of USAF trainees, the study provides novel prospective findings on TNCP initiation, and how men and women are influenced differently by peer tobacco use and tobacco use intentions. Gender-specific prevention efforts focused on uptake of TNCPs appear warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101104
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Air Force
  • Gender
  • Health disparities
  • Initiation
  • Military
  • Nicotine
  • Tobacco
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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