200446 From Camouflage to College: Understanding the Unique Cessation Needs of Students in the Military

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:42 AM

Colleen Haydon, MSW, MPH , Project UNIFORM, CYAN, Sacramento, CA
Kimberlee Homer Vagadori, MPH , California Youth Advocacy Network, Sacramento, CA
Military culture is as pronounced and distinct as that of any other racial/ ethnic/ linguistic group in the United States. It has its own language, dress code, culture, norms, and expectations, including longstanding customs and rituals around the use of cigars, smokeless tobacco, and cigarettes. These strong cultural pressures contribute to high rates of tobacco use. As former and current military service members enter college at increasing rates, many tobacco cessation providers find themselves ill equipped to handle the unique needs of these students. In direct response to this challenge, an innovative partnership between college and military tobacco control advocates was created. Through this collaboration, student health center workers and tobacco control professionals were trained on: how tobacco cessation materials and approaches can be tailored to better meet the needs of former and current service member students; the importance of including service members in policy work; and how to respond to the challenges and opportunities in working on tobacco cessation with service members on campus. While this partnership is unique in its approach, the training could easily be adapted to other states. As troops continue to return home, leave the military, and take advantage of their GI Bill benefits, tobacco control professionals working on college campuses will be faced with military-specific tobacco cessation demands. This presentation will help prepare cessation providers to address the needs of current and former service members.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss challenges and opportunities in working on tobacco cessation with service members on campus. Describe the unique cultural norms of service members attending local college. Identify how to modify existing cessation services to better meet the needs of the service member student body population. Explain how to be inclusive of service members in policy work on campus.

Keywords: Tobacco, Culture

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Extensive tobacco control experience, Program Coordinator for Project UNIFORM (Undoing Nicotine From Our Respected Military), Author of Serving Those Who Serve: A Guide For Public Health Civilians Working With Military Communities, Master of Social Welfare: University of California, Berkeley, Master of Public Health: San Jose State University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.