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Military service and smoking in a cohort of northern Vietnamese older adults

Listed author(s):
  • Kim Korinek


    (University of Utah)

  • Peter Loebach

    (Weber State University)

  • Ha Ngoc Trinh

    (University of Utah)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract Objectives Wide-ranging scholarship demonstrates war’s impacts on US veterans’ health. We ask whether, among Vietnamese men of a certain age, wartime experiences contributed to initiating smoking, and thus shaped one behavioral pathway linking war exposure and older adult health. Methods We analyze the Vietnam Health and Aging Pilot Study (VHAPS), a survey of adults ages 55 and older (N = 405) conducted in one commune of northern Vietnam. We implement Cox discrete-time proportional hazards models to discern the effects of military service upon the initiation of smoking. Results Military service results in a heightened risk of initiating smoking within this cohort (HR 2.13, [CI 1.36, 3.35]). Smoking initiation is also significantly gendered and age graded. Socioeconomic position and social capital variables in the models are statistically insignificant. Conclusions This study finds that, among older northern Vietnamese men whose early adulthood coincided with mass mobilization in the Vietnam War, involvement in formal military service significantly increased the risk of initiating smoking. Military-induced smoking emerges where tobacco products were not provided by the military institution, but where social availability of tobacco was widespread.

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    Article provided by Springer & Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) in its journal International Journal of Public Health.

    Volume (Year): 62 (2017)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 43-51

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:ijphth:v:62:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s00038-016-0841-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s00038-016-0841-9
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    1. Cronan, Terry A. & Conway, Terry L. & Kaszas, Suzanne L., 1991. "Starting to smoke in the navy: When, where and why," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 1349-1353, January.
    2. Kelly Bedard & Olivier Deschênes, 2006. "The Long-Term Impact of Military Service on Health: Evidence from World War II and Korean War Veterans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 176-194, March.
    3. Minoru Takakura, 2015. "Relations of participation in organized activities to smoking and drinking among Japanese youth: contextual effects of structural social capital in high school," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(6), pages 679-689, September.
    4. M. Merli, 2000. "Socioeconomic background and war mortality during Vietnam’s wars," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(1), pages 1-15, February.
    5. Morrow, Martha & Ngoc, Do Hong & Hoang, Truong Trong & Trinh, Tran Hue, 2002. "Smoking and young women in Vietnam: the influence of normative gender roles," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 681-690, August.
    6. Waldron, Ingrid & Bratelli, Gary & Carriker, Laura & Sung, Wei-Chin & Vogeli, Christine & Waldman, Elizabeth, 1988. "Gender differences in tobacco use in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1269-1275, January.
    7. Timo-Kolja Pförtner & Bart Clercq & Michela Lenzi & Alessio Vieno & Katharina Rathmann & Irene Moor & Anne Hublet & Michal Molcho & Anton Kunst & Matthias Richter, 2015. "Does the association between different dimension of social capital and adolescent smoking vary by socioeconomic status? a pooled cross-national analysis," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(8), pages 901-910, December.
    8. Teerawichitchainan, Bussarawan & Korinek, Kim, 2012. "The long-term impact of war on health and wellbeing in Northern Vietnam: Some glimpses from a recent survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(12), pages 1995-2004.
    9. Dominik Schori & Karen Hofmann & Thomas Abel, 2014. "Social inequality and smoking in young Swiss men: intergenerational transmission of cultural capital and health orientation," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 59(2), pages 261-270, April.
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