The image of the hard-bitten soldier grabbing a post-battle smoke may be a cliche, but it's one that the U.S. Army hopes to change.
To that end, the Texas Medical Center reports that one of its researchers has been awarded $3.7 million grant by the Army to create an anti-smoking video game for military personnel. Alexander Prokhorov, M.D., Ph.D. describes his project:
The tobacco use rates in the Army are alarming – 38 percent of service members smoke cigarettes and 15 percent use smokeless tobacco... Wars boosted the use of tobacco. Research shows tobacco use in the military increased during World War II. We are going to provide ways to help soldiers kick this destructive addiction or resist it in the first place...
The video game-based education program is anything but boring. It provides a highly interactive, engaging and exciting experience.
When the demands of combat duty increase the soldier’s level of pressure and stress, smoking becomes more tempting to both the former smoker and the soldier who has never smoked. The prevention aspect of the game will address this.