Smoking Habits of Young Israeli Soldiers
I. Askenazi, J. Shemer
Medical Corps, Israel Defense Forces, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
A random sample of 32,166 soldiers were interviewed (on their day of discharge from the Israeli Defence Forces, between 1980-1995) with regard to smoking habits. Among men, prevalence of current smoking was 46.8%, and among women 32.9%. Over the study period, prevalence in men decreased 27%. Among women, prevalence decreased from 1981 to 1991, but since then it has steadily increased. Among men, mean number of cigarettes smoked decreased from 21.6 in 1989 to 16.6 in 1995. Among women cigarettes smoked decreased from a mean of 14.3 in 1989 to 13.1 in 1995. 65.9% of the men and 49.3% of the women had started smoking by the age of 18. Among men the age distribution of smoking changed hardly at all over the years of the study. However, the proportion of women who began to smoke in the youngest age bracket (15 years of younger) doubled over the course of the study.