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Veterans, Smoking and Other Risk Factors

Smoking and the Military

Until 1976, cigarettes were routinely included in K-rations and C-rations and for decades sold at deeply discounted prices in commissaries and exchanges. Tobacco products are still sold at discounted prices on military exchanges and commissaries (except for Navy and Marine commissaries). Military induced smoking accounts for a significant percentage of the higher lung cancer rates, perhaps as high as 50-70% of the excess deaths.  The percentage of active duty military who ever smoked was highest during the Korean and Vietnam Wars (75%). Currently overall 32.2 % of active duty military personnel smoke versus 19.8% of adults in the civilian population and 22.2% of veterans.

Other Risk Factors

Other risk factors include Agent Orange, radon, asbestos, depleted uranium used in weapons and armor shielding, beryllium, fuel exhaust and other battlefield emissions.

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