Veterans Health Outcomes Are Still Disproportionately Impacted By Tobacco.

While the problem is large and growing, studies highlight increased interest in smoking cessation services.

February 16th, 2022

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Tobacco use among U.S. military veterans remains high and is a significant cost to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Nearly 30% of U.S. military veterans use tobacco products (21.6% smoke). Tobacco usage is highest among veterans aged 18-25 (56.8%), those living in poverty (53.7%), those with less than a high school education (37.9%), and Hispanics (34%).1 The prevalence of current tobacco use is significantly higher among veterans than nonveterans within all subgroups of age and sex.

 

During 2010, the Veterans Health Administration spent an estimated $2.7 billion on smoking-related prescription drugs, hospitalization, home health care, and ambulatory care.2 Despite the magnitude of the problem, multiple studies highlight increased interest in smoking cessation services. For example, the number of patients receiving nicotine replacement therapy within the VHA system increased by 15% per year during the 2004-08 period due to intentional policy change.3

 

VHA specialty-based clinics fail to capture as many current smokers as virtual and telehealth-based programs. In one clinical study, 50% of veterans randomized to the telehealth clinic arm completed registration, compared to only 19% randomized to the specialty care clinic.4

 

Vincere Health’s solution for smokers is backed by licensed clinicians, proven financial rewards technology, and an easy-to-use handheld carbon monoxide monitoring device for tobacco intake verification. On average, patients interact with the novel technology 9x per week while quitting and receive $110 for healthy behaviors. The program reports a 52% biochemically verified Quit Rate. The company has already launched successful clinical validations with leading institutions such as Boston Medical Center, received state-funded grants, and had their research accepted by the prestigious American Thoracic Society Journal. To learn more about Vincere's program, please contact us.

 

 

1. Odani S, Agaku IT, Graffunder CM, Tynan MA, Armour BS. Tobacco Product Use Among Military Veterans - the United States, 2010-2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(1):7-12. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6701a2

2. Barnett PG, Hamlett-Berry K, Sung HY, Max W. Health care expenditures attributable to smoking in military veterans. Nicotine Tob Res Off J Soc Res Nicotine Tob. 2015;17(5):586-591. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntu187

3. Smith MW, Chen S, Siroka AM, Hamlett-Berry K. Using policy to increase prescribing of smoking cessation medications in the VA healthcare system. Tob Control. 2010;19(6):507-511. doi:10.1136/tc.2009.035147

4.  Calhoun PS, Datta S, Olsen M, et al. Comparative Effectiveness of an Internet-Based Smoking Cessation Intervention Versus Clinic-Based Specialty Care for Veterans. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016;69:19-27. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2016.06.004