Tobacco use in the Army is a high-profile issue and has a direct impact upon the Soldier’s ability to accomplish the mission, negatively impacting force readiness. The short-term impacts of tobacco use on readiness include increased numbers of sick call visits and increased incidence of cold weather and training injuries. In addition, there are the well known long-term health hazards of tobacco use, to include reduced lung capacity, reduced fine motor coordination, slower wound healing, and greatly decreased stamina. In addition, tobacco use is a major cause of heart disease, stroke, and diseases of the blood vessels. Tobacco use also causes cancer of the lung, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder and cervix.
Since tobacco use is both a readiness and a health issue, it is important to provide Soldiers with effective interventions to become Tobacco Free. Tobacco Free Living benefits the command as a whole because tobacco-free Soldiers are stronger, healthier, and better able to perform their mission. Being tobacco-free also benefits each Soldier by giving them an opportunity to maintain a healthier lifestyle and decrease the health risks associated with tobacco use.