"Smoking Ban May Strike Military"

Fox News has this:

U.S. soldiers are trained to handle deadly weapons and smoke out enemies but they may soon find that they aren't allowed to handle cigarettes and light up a smoke.

Pentagon health experts are pressing Defense Secretary Robert Gates to ban the use of tobacco by troops and ends its sale on military property, according to USA Today.

Jack Smith, head of the Pentagon's office of clinical and program policy, told the newspaper that he will advise Gates to adopt proposals by a federal study that cites rising tobacco use and higher costs for the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs as reasons for the ban.

The study by the Institute of Medicine calls for a phased-in ban over a period of perhaps up to 20 years.

"We'll certainly be taking that recommendation forward," Smith told the newspaper.

The VA and the Pentagon requested the study, which found that troops worn out by repeated deployments often rely on cigarettes as a "stress reliever." The study also found that tobacco use in the military rose after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

Tobacco use costs the Pentagon $846 million a year in medical care and lost productivity, according to the study, which was released last month and used older data. The Department of Veterans Affairs spends up to $6 billion in treatments for tobacco-related illnesses, the study found. . . . .

Smoking both calms and increases alertness, both of which are valuable for soldiers who have to go on patrol.

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Blogger Erick said...

Are these people idiots? It's ok to put people at risk of death under fire, but they can't smoke because it's bad for them? duh! One can die for this country but it must be done within it's terms. I thought it was unfair I couldn't drink or vote, but could risk death defending this country's values. Now smoking is out? EVERY VET OR ACTIVE MILITARY IS FIGHTING TO PRESERVE FREEDOM!!!!
But loosing it at the same time!
We have finally lost our minds completely.
USMC Vietnam

7/12/2009 8:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow! What a brilliant idea! Actually, a better plan to improve their health would be to prevent them from getting shot at.

7/12/2009 8:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

for one thing cigarets are sold in commiserys but they are controled by aafes. on most milatery bases cigs cost the same as down town. you dont pay sales taxes but you pay state tobaco taxes. if you only pay federal taxes what is aafes doing charging you state tobaco taxes.makes you wonder what they are doing with all that extra money.they sure are not spending on the troops and famles or giving it back to the states makes you wonder.

7/12/2009 8:33 AM  
Blogger Openmind said...

Talk about a very, very STUPID idea..the ban shouldn't be a ban. Stopping smoking should be a CHOICE, not some government mandated thing. Say goodby to the army as nobody will join up anymore.

7/12/2009 9:07 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ban cigarettes, I should sue them!

In 1963 at age 17, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I was a nonsmoker and a nondrinker. Our Technical Instructor was marching us trainees in formation. He brought the formation to a halt and put us “at ease“. He lit up a cigarette and said, “if you got ‘em light ‘em up, if you don’t pick ‘em up”. After picking up cigarette butts of others, a few times I decided it was time to start smoking.

I bought my first carton of Lucky Strikes at the commissary, $1.10. At $1.10, a carton I could not afford to not smoke.

When in the field Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) we were issued, which in addition to food contained four cigarettes and matches.


Thirty years later, I finally gave them up. I do not feel they should be banned as long as they are taxed and sold in the U.S.

Are they going to ban booze too? I did not drink when I enlisted but at $4.00 half-gallon, I could not afford to not drink.

7/12/2009 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a BIG SMOKESCREEN for all the truth that has come out about the abandoning of our men and women in uniform as far as physical and psychological medical care goes. Filthy, understaffed, under supplied military hospitals. Troops being billed for meals , bandages or refused treatment all together after they arrive home.
These troops are sent out IN LIFE ENDANGERING situations every day and
this is what is focused on.
Abslute backward thinking. A true definition of TRYANNY.
Also proves how degraded the intelligence of average Pentagon staff has become in the last 20 years.
How dare these ignorant frail,minded frauds at the Pentagon even suggest this.
Not a smoker , not in the military.Have a military friend in Afghanistan.
Waste time with useless anti war protests well how about having marches demanding the Pentagon stop
abusing troops and families!
Turn off the TV. Stand UP!

7/12/2009 11:17 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Here's an interesting problem. Cigarettes are bad for you, but bombs and bullets are not?

I have great idea. Why don't we just use cigarettes to kill our enemies? Much cheaper than HellFire missles...

7/12/2009 1:23 PM  
Blogger Michael J. McFadden said...

A couple of years ago a councilman in Winooski, VT wanted to boot the local veterans out of their posts and into the cold to smoke. He justified it by saying, "This seems like a good way to honor our veterans, to prolong their lives."

The Councilman probably agreed with the Lung Association's spokesman, Joel Africk, who urged people not to send smokes to soldiers in Iraq even if those soldiers asked for them, saying "Tobacco use presents an immediate and real danger for our soldiers who are on the lines today... our troops should be sent care packages that don't kill."

I suggest that Mssrs. Clark and Africk should spend some time with these fighting men personally, and discuss these issues of honor and danger with them as they stand in the snow outside their veterans' halls and huddle in trenches in Fallujah. I'm sure they'd find the discussions most enlightening and the end result of the discussions would benefit all of us.

And the same holds true for those who'd try to ban active duty soldiers from smoking. Sad.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

7/13/2009 12:57 AM  
Blogger Marlene Bakken said...

Is everyone completely nuts? Let's just put it this way:
"Frequent fliers may be getting a dangerous dose" of secondary tobacco smoke.
A “dangerous dose”? In an airport? An airport where hundreds of planes are freely spewing jet fuel fumes into the terminals’ air intakes??
Looking at just two of the emissions that jets and cigarettes have in common shows how ridiculous this is. According to the Surgeon Generals' 1986 Report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke, a cigarette puts out a total of 3 mg of nitrogen oxide (NO) and 40 mg of carbon monoxide (CO). The 1995 EPA study on airplane emissions cites a single 747 takeoff/landing at about 115 pounds of NO and 32 pounds of CO.
That's 52 million mg of NO and 14 million mg of CO if you do the math.
Doing a bit more math for a typical 500 takeoffs/landings per day shows us that
the nice clean smokefree air being pumped into those terminals has the CO equivalent of over 160 million cigarettes and the NO of Eight and a Half BILLION cigarettes.
All of which is being shwooshed right into the lungs of travelers who are supposedly receiving a "dangerous dose" from a few cigarettes being puffed in secluded and sealed off terminal areas and bars.
This insanity would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
1986 SG Report pgs. 129, 130, 136
EPA Report "Technical Data... Commercial Aviation" 09/29/95

7/13/2009 1:05 AM  

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