Weight gain as a barrier to smoking cessation among military personnel

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Behavioral Medicine | Health Psychology | Integrative Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Public Health Education and Promotion | Substance Abuse and Addiction


PURPOSE: To assess the relationships between active-duty military status, military weight standards, concern about weight gain, and anticipated relapse after smoking cessation.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Hospital-based tobacco cessation program.

SUBJECTS: Two hundred fifty-two enrollees, of 253 eligible, to a tobacco cessation program in 1999 (135 men, 117 women; 43% on active duty in the military).

MEASURES: Independent variables included gender, body mass index (weight/height2), and military status. Dependent variables included about weight gain with smoking cessation and anticipated relapse.

RESULTS: In multivariate regression analyses that controlled for gender and body mass index, active-duty military status was associated with an elevated level of concern about weight gain (1.9-point increase on a 10-point scale; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0- to 2.8-point increase), as well as higher anticipated relapse (odds ratio [OR] = 3.6; 95% CI, 1.3 to 9.8). Among subjects who were close to or over the U.S. Air Force maximum allowable weight for height, the analogous OR for active-duty military status was 6.9 (p = .02).

CONCLUSIONS: Occupational weight standards or expectations may pose additional barriers for individuals contemplating or attempting smoking cessation, as they do among active-duty military personnel. These barriers are likely to hinder efforts to decrease smoking prevalence in certain groups.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Health Promot. 2001 Nov-Dec;16(2):79-84. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-16.2.79. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of health promotion : AJHP


At the time of publication, Christine Runyan (C. R. Russ) was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID