Preventing smoking initiation or relapse following 8.5 weeks of involuntary smoking abstinence in basic military training: trial design, interventions, and baseline data

Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 May;38(1):28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2014.03.001. Epub 2014 Mar 15.


Smoking cessation is a primary method of reducing excess mortality and morbidity. Unfortunately, the vast majority of cessation attempts end in eventual relapse. Relapse-prevention interventions have shown some success at improving the long-term maintenance of tobacco abstinence among individuals motivated to abstain. However, involuntary tobacco abstinence (e.g., military training, hospitalization, incarceration) presents another opportunity for intervention to prevent relapse. During basic military training (BMT), tobacco use is strictly forbidden in all service branches, but tobacco relapse (and initiation) following BMT is extremely high. This paper reports on the design, intervention development, and baseline characteristics of a randomized controlled trial testing minimal interventions designed to prevent tobacco relapse among United States Air Force (USAF) personnel following BMT. Participants are randomized by squadron to receive either a standard smoking-cessation booklet, a new motivation-based booklet designed specifically for USAF personal, or the latter booklet combined with a brief, face-to-face motivational session. Primary outcomes will be self-reported tobacco use at 12 and 24month follow-up. Given that the Department of Defense is the world's largest employer, the potential of leveraging involuntary tobacco abstinence during BMT into extended abstinence has substantial public health significance.

Trial registration: NCT01374724.

Keywords: Military; Randomized controlled trial; Relapse-prevention; Smoking; Smoking cessation intervention; Tobacco.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Motivation*
  • Recurrence
  • Research Design*
  • Self Report
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult

Associated data