SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — There were fewer smokers among military service members last year, a recent study revealed.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare and Ministry of Defense conducted a survey of 4,000 service members between Nov. 20 and Dec. 10 of last year.
Smokers accounted for 40.7 percent of all service members, down by 0.3 percentage points since 2018.
The Marines had the highest proportion of smokers at 52 percent, followed by the Army (43.8 percent), the Navy (39.4 percent), and the Air Force (25.8 percent).
The proportion of smokers in the Army and the Navy jumped by 0.6 and 1.5 percentage points, respectively, while the Marines and the Air Force saw the proportion drop by 1.9 and 3.5 percent, respectively.
“Almost half of all Air Force officers want to quit smoking, which is higher than other military branches, and it seems to be affecting the overall proportion of smokers,” said the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Of all smokers, 41.6 percent were soldiers and 37.9 percent were officers. The proportion has dropped by 0.6 percentage points among soldiers, while it increased by 0.4 percentage points among officers.
At 87.8 percent, the vast majority of all smokers were smokers before they joined the military, while 9.5 percent began smoking after they became service members.
The government plans to develop a smartphone application that offers anti-smoking services by the end of February, aiming for distribution to service members in April.
“Quitting smoking leads to better health, and better health leads to stronger combat power,” said Yang Seong-tae, head of health policy division at the Ministry of Defense.
“Service members, particularly commanding officers, should take deeper interest.”
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)