The aim of the present study was to determine smoking prevalence among noncommissioned officers and privates and the factors affecting it. This study was carried out in a division of 20,000 soldiers. One of every 10 names on the roster was chosen at random. Responses were received from 1,822 subjects (91.1%), all male, in the final month of their 18-month military service with a mean age of 20.3 +/- 2.2 years. Individuals performing their military service were surveyed using a self-administered, anonymous, personal, and voluntary questionnaire. It was determined that 1, 160 (63.7%) of the participants were smokers: 180 (9.9%) were occasional smokers, and 980 (53.8) were heavy smokers. For the fathers of the participants, these rates were 15.4% and 40.5%, respectively. The frequency of smoking was found to be higher in subjects who had high incomes, who had high levels of education, whose fathers smoked, and who were raised in environments in which there were many smokers. It was determined that 31.4% of subjects had begun smoking within the previous 2 years during their period of military service.