Pentagon to ban tobacco use?

posted at 5:18 pm on July 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The iconic image of a soldier lighting up a smoke after a battle may go the way of draft cards.  USA Today reports that the Pentagon’s health experts are pushing for a ban on smoking in every branch of the service.  They cite the high cost of providing care for smoking-related ailments:

Pentagon health experts are urging Defense Secretary Robert Gates to ban the use of tobacco by troops and end its sale on military property, a change that could dramatically alter a culture intertwined with smoking.

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

The study by the Institute of Medicine, requested by the VA and Pentagon, calls for a phased-in ban over a period of years, perhaps up to 20. “We’ll certainly be taking that recommendation forward,” Smith says.

A tobacco ban would confront a military culture, the report says, in which “the image of the battle-weary soldier in fatigues and helmet, fighting for his country, has frequently included his lit cigarette.”

Ironically, as the article notes, the Pentagon subsidizes tobacco use on bases now by subsidizing the cost of cigarettes and other tobacco products.  That makes it less expensive to maintain the habit, and could have something to do with the fact that a higher percentage of active-duty military smoke than veterans or the civilian population of the US.  One quick method to reduce the use of tobacco would be to simply stop lowering the price artificially, but that would not stop it altogether. [See update below.]

Although this news will bring instant and justified reactions in either direction, it’s a complicated issue.  Smoking causes health issues that the VA has to spend a great deal of money treating later down the road.  They could eliminate some of that spending and perhaps apply the resources to other issues (or just save costs outright) if they stopped the smoking culture of the military entirely.  On the other hand, we ask these men and women to put their lives on the line to defend our nation and to bring liberty around the world.  Is it right to begrudge them the freedom to choose for themselves whether to use tobacco products, a right that the rest of us still have while we’re safe at home?

I’d fall on the side of letting the troops make that decision for themselves, but ending the subsidies.  What do you think?  Cast your vote in this poll:

Update: I’ve received a few e-mails rebutting the contention in USA Today that the military subsidizes tobacco on bases. What they don’t do is charge the state taxes that apply everywhere else, which eliminates the artificial price increases on the product. According to some e-mails, they may have even changed this policy; one e-mailer says that tobacco and other products are almost the same price as off-base prices.


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No ******* way.

Dr. Manhattan on July 10, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Maybe they can ban the Newports in the White House too?

elduende on July 10, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Yeah, that’s a great idea, make the guy holding the M-16, with the nicotine cravings give up his smokes. 0bama must have thought of this one.

Torch on July 10, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Nanny State gone awry. Let the soldiers smoke!

jencab on July 10, 2009 at 5:21 PM

I think they should have the right but I also think if you are old enough to defend your country you should be able to have a beer.

catlady on July 10, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Torch on July 10, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Good point

catlady on July 10, 2009 at 5:22 PM

How would such a ban work? Would smoking a cigarette in your own home off base be grounds for a dishonorable discharge, or what?

ProfessorMiao on July 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM

This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Another measure proposed by some lazy desk jockey who has never had a 7.62 wizz past his head. I sure can’t wait to retire from the good ol’ USMC here soon so I can be treated like an adult again.

gator70 on July 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM

It wouldn’t work anyways. A good Lance Corporal always finds a way around stupid crap like that.

gator70 on July 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM

catlady on July 10, 2009 at 5:22 PM

I agree. I mean how stupid is that my 19 year old son can carry a weopon in defense of his country but can’t have a beer…

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM

That decides the gays in the military position. No smoking pole, either.

John the Libertarian on July 10, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Pentagon’s health experts

Will bullets be next ?

christene on July 10, 2009 at 5:24 PM

no smoking, or drinking on base would be great

PrezHussein on July 10, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Then only give them carrot and celery sticks in their MREs. Then ban all alcohol. Then ban all leave because they may hurt themselves off base. Then…

Fuzzlenutter on July 10, 2009 at 5:25 PM

PrezHussein on July 10, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Why?

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Since Bozo is CIC, I guess he’ll have to give up the cigs too.

txag92 on July 10, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Allow it.
End the subsidies.
Require smokers to attend a once a year “sensitivity training seminar”.

MarkTheGreat on July 10, 2009 at 5:26 PM

stop the frat boy culture of substance abuse in the military to respect the freedom of abstainers

PrezHussein on July 10, 2009 at 5:27 PM

I’m with Ed

let em
end subsiddiez

blatantblue on July 10, 2009 at 5:27 PM

It wouldn’t work anyways. A good Lance Corporal always finds a way around stupid crap like that.

Ha! That’s a fact.

I think that a huge part of the problem with cigarettes are the mixed messages. Cigarettes are fine to sell, but they will cause all sorts of diseases and kill you(possibly), so we’re going to save you from yourself. Either they are legal and let folks deal with the consequences, or they are illegal. Let’s quit messing around in the middle area.

Living4Him5534 on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

If they want to kill themselves, by all means go for it.

dcwvu on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

A tobacco ban would confront a military culture, the report says, in which “the image of the battle-weary soldier in fatigues and helmet, fighting for his country, has frequently included his lit cigarette.”

One of the less iconic images is the geezer with the motorized wheelchair-mounted oxygen tank/mask in line at the Commissary with nothing but a half dozen cartons of smokes in his basket.

James on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Boy, they sure do like using that “It’ll save on health care costs!” excuse to justify a whole bunch of stuff. In the USAF, part of the official physical fitness test is an abdominal circumference measurement. Doesn’t have too much to do with your ability to fight, but evidently is an indicator of increased risk of health problems down the line. Again, they justify that by saying it will help save money in the future.

The end result of all this is that they’re going to have an awful lot of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines voting with their feet. Retention will go downhill in a hurry.

“Here you go, son. Here’s your gear, now go deploy to a war zone for 15 months every couple years but don’t you DARE light up a cigarette.” Yeah, that’ll work.

Darth Cirrocu on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

They could ban combat; that’s the biggest health expense they face (/eye roll).

My 92-year-old mother only quit smoking because the nursing home doesn’t allow it; just one more misery involved in nursing home care for her.

michaelo on July 10, 2009 at 5:29 PM

It would be an unenforceable rule – or nearly so – though I wonder whether military smokers are compromising their battle readiness by puffing on cancer sticks.

The government (and taxpayers) have a legitimate concern over long term health and cost issues, but people are free to choose to shorten their lives if they want to.

In the end I’d avoid the ban, but stop the subsidies for sure.

redfoxbluestate on July 10, 2009 at 5:29 PM

blatantblue on July 10, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Is that English?

txag92 on July 10, 2009 at 5:29 PM

I think this is based on bad data – smoking and drinking actually save long term on medical expenses, because the individuals die sooner.

exhelodrvr on July 10, 2009 at 5:30 PM

The troops are learning that they sure as heck aren’t fighting to defend freedom.

Buddahpundit on July 10, 2009 at 5:30 PM

They are going to make troops QUITR smoking…

The “SMACK” all veterans now and Before who have EVER smoked? Becuase they don’t want to deal with this now????

I call BULL$IT!!!!

upinak on July 10, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Ridiculous. Many, many soldiers smoke during combat tours, and then never smoke again. It’s a small respite in an otherwise hellish day. These are grown men and women, for God’s sake, volunteering to take a bullet for the rest of us. STOP TREATING THEM LIKE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AT A FU*KING SCHOOL ASSEMBLY PUT ON BY THE SCHOOL NURSE!!!!!

Rational Thought on July 10, 2009 at 5:31 PM

The government will have to find something else to tax to fund SCHIP.

txag92 on July 10, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Someone the other day was complaining about Ed’s moralizing on smoking. This post seems fine.

This is just a preview of ObamaCare ya know.

darii on July 10, 2009 at 5:32 PM

So, President Obama can smoke his butt off, but the warriors that put their lives on the line for us can no longer smoke?

It’s now official: Our government is insane.

yogi41 on July 10, 2009 at 5:32 PM

If they want to kill themselves, by all means go for it.

dcwvu on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Newsflash: None of this get out of this thing alive. Might as well enjoy it.

rukiddingme on July 10, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Amen. They put their lives in danger for this country, let em have their vices.

Nanny state crap.

Thunderstorm129 on July 10, 2009 at 5:35 PM

end subsiddiez

blatantblue on July 10, 2009 at 5:27 PM

I have no problem with either…

…did you take spelling?

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Don’t ask, don’t tell.

genso on July 10, 2009 at 5:35 PM

They ought to be able to smoke, dip, chew, whatever. And considering what they do for us, they should be getting them for free (reasonable volume, that is). They dodge bullets for us, we can go halvsies on cigs for them.

Cowboy on July 10, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Just to clarify this a little, DOD stopped putting cigarettes in field rations and sundry packs decades ago. There has been a ban on smoking in federal buildings (every structure on a military installation) in effect for nearly as long. I spent 25 years in uniform. I don’t smoke and never have, but to absolutely forbid it at all times and in all places simply because of your military status is asinine. Take them out of the exchange and commissary? Fine. And leave it at that.

Longhorn Six on July 10, 2009 at 5:35 PM

I agree. I mean how stupid is that my 19 year old son can carry a weopon in defense of his country but can’t have a beer…

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM

To be fair, unless I’m mistake or the rules have changed, those in the military can drink.

I had a friend who joined right after high school who was able to buy beer, at least on the base. Not sure if that worked anywhere else.

Esthier on July 10, 2009 at 5:36 PM

did you take spelling?

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:35 PM

BB iss a produckt of publik edukation.

txag92 on July 10, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Living4Him5534 on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

I’m with you. We might as well just ban them altogether and save the time and money deciding what group/establishment to ban them from next.

thevastlane on July 10, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Esthier on July 10, 2009 at 5:36 PM

I don’t believe they can on bases in the US.

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:38 PM

BB iss a produckt of publik edukation.

txag92 on July 10, 2009 at 5:37 PM

LOL

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:39 PM

So when are “The Pentagon Health Experts” going to ban alcohol? I’d like to see them do a ‘study’ on which causes the most problems in the military.

These “Pentagon Experts” had better realize that the troops are the ones with the weapons. Not them. Things could get “dicey”.

I could see on some Monday morning. “Hey Bob, lets do some launch drills on ICBM 2434. Just for grins let’s reprogram the target. Let’s target the Pentagon.” Moments later, “Ooops, wasn’t supposed to actually hit the launch key was I?” “My bad”.

GarandFan on July 10, 2009 at 5:39 PM

You old enough to carry an automatic weapon in service to this country? You’re old enough to decide for yourself if you want to smoke or not.

I hate smoking and think it’s disgusting, but I do not believe that my opinions should be foisted on other people.

mjk on July 10, 2009 at 5:40 PM

I’m with you. We might as well just ban them altogether and save the time and money deciding what group/establishment to ban them from next.

thevastlane on July 10, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Sure….why not? Hey, while we’re at it, let’s make a list of things we should ban. We can do ‘em all at the same time.

genso on July 10, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Well, if they are going to have rules about bmi, they might as well have rules about filling your lungs with ash.
But I’ll go with “stop subsidizing it”.

Count to 10 on July 10, 2009 at 5:41 PM

One of the less iconic images is the geezer with the motorized wheelchair-mounted oxygen tank/mask in line at the Commissary with nothing but a half dozen cartons of smokes in his basket.

James on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Yeah! And let’s ban homosexuality too! Another iconic image is the poor gay guy laying in bed near death sucking down health care and raising our insurance rates because he didn’t have the good sense to keep his pecker out of another guy’s poop chute. That cost is FAR higher than all the veterans you have seen in a commissary in a wheelchair with oxygen buying cartons of cigarettes…

CC

CapedConservative on July 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Seeing as Barry is Commander in Chief, will this new directive apply to him as well?

GarandFan on July 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Military members already have to perform Fitness tests twice a year…if you can smoke and run 2 miles, you are good to go as far as I am concerned. I smoke and I only ran twice a year….I quit smoking on my own because I wanted to increase my PT score to get promoted faster too.

I see fewer kids (young people) these days smoking than when I grew up. When I was young, EVERYONE I knew smoked…some quit eventually for various reasons. Smoking is just about as bad for you as any other activity that is mildly fun but more and more people simply don’t start the habit these days, so I believe it is a “problem” that will fix itself since the price of a pack of coffin nails seems to go up every other month.

Mord on July 10, 2009 at 5:43 PM

I am so sick of these nanny state liberals. Good grief! These men and women are putting their lives on the line for us. The last thing I want to do is deny them a cigarette if that helps them relieve some stress. I oppose all of these liberal bans on things like smoking, transfats (NY), etc. They even tried to outlaw spanking your child somewhere in CA. I am so ready for the govt to get out of our lives. Let people make their own decisions as long as they are not harming another person (like in the case of abortion, which of course the liberals support wholeheartedly). One of these days we are going to have Twinkies selling on the black market. What a ridiculous world we are living in.

squeek71 on July 10, 2009 at 5:43 PM

One of the less iconic images is the geezer with the motorized wheelchair-mounted oxygen tank/mask in line at the Commissary with nothing but a half dozen cartons of smokes in his basket.

James on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

In which he served his country.. probably got sprayed with Agent Orange.. has lung cancer because the Top Brass don’t have a freaking clue and he is dieing due to their mistakes.

Let them man die how he wants and do what he wants without you telling him to stop doing it.

WTF are you to tell him that?

upinak on July 10, 2009 at 5:44 PM

hey oboobi, lead by example! i know your not familiar with this term but the troops are, and as much as i hate to say it…..you are commander in chief.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

SHARPTOOTH on July 10, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Yeah! And let’s ban homosexuality too! Another iconic image is the poor gay guy laying in bed near death sucking down health care and raising our insurance rates because he didn’t have the good sense to keep his pecker out of another guy’s poop chute. That cost is FAR higher than all the veterans you have seen in a commissary in a wheelchair with oxygen buying cartons of cigarettes…

CC

CapedConservative on July 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM

You have it backwards.
Transmission goes mostly the other way around.

Count to 10 on July 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Ban gayness and homosexuality. It has 7 to 10 year shorter life expectancy than smokers have.

seven on July 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

There are studies that show tobacco use doesn’t contribute to high healthcare costs.

ballz2wallz on July 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

I don’t believe they can on bases in the US.

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:38 PM

I guess it’s possible my friend was in another country, but I didn’t think so.

I do though agree that those in the military should be able to drink and smoke.

Esthier on July 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

This is just a preview of ObamaCare ya know.

darii on July 10, 2009 at 5:32 PM

EXACTLY.

Healthcare and Environmental Regulations are the collectivists best friends nowadays.

By forcing us all to “be in this together” we are forced to think in collectivist terms.

I could care less if everybody else smoked. When it starts costing me because I have to pay for other peoples insurance, I will care, lots of people will care, and things that are bad for us will be made illegal. That will take away peoples freedom.

All the people that were outraged about FISA and want Socialized Healthcare and Environmental Taxes and Regulations are complete and utter morons. They only are against attacks on liberty when it fits their narrative.

Joe Caps on July 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Subsidized how? You buy them in the commissary and PX and don’t pay the taxes on them. Hardly a subsidy when everthing else bought there is tax-free, and these folks don’t make what the private sector makes. Leave them alone or we won’t have any military.

Jeanette on July 10, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Lets see….
Record number of suicides in military.
High tempo of deployments contributes to lack of morale.
Military decency act passed(no girly mags offered for sale on post).
No soldier under 21 allowed to consume alcohol.
Pentagon considering banning tobacco products…
yeah that will help de-stress our fighting men and their family members./sarc

canditaylor68 on July 10, 2009 at 5:46 PM

You have it backwards.
Transmission goes mostly the other way around.

Count to 10 on July 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

You telling me the first sympton of AIDS is a sharp stabbing pain in the a$$?????

CC

CapedConservative on July 10, 2009 at 5:47 PM

There are studies that show tobacco use doesn’t contribute to high healthcare costs.

ballz2wallz on July 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

By dying earlier, doesn’t that save money in the grand scheme of things.

Older people will need treatments to stay alive no matter what. If you are healthy (other than being a smoker) and you die of cancer when you are 60 I doubt you will end up costing society more than if you lived to be 110.

Joe Caps on July 10, 2009 at 5:47 PM

genso on July 10, 2009 at 5:40 PM

I’m not saying I agree with it. It annoys the heck out of me that restaurants and bars are being forced to become non smoking. Now they want to force it on the military. Who will it be next? I just think that the way smoking is being demonized it’s headed in that direction.

But I get your point, banning something because it becomes demonized is probably not the best idea.

thevastlane on July 10, 2009 at 5:47 PM

REMF’s rule. Have any of the Pentagon “experts” on this ever heard a shot fired in anger? (Rhetorical question) I don’t smoke and never have (well, I do enjoy a nice cigar now and then) but this is BS, but what do I know…I’m just an old fart paratrooper that has been shot at.

Dingbat63 on July 10, 2009 at 5:48 PM

such a F’ing stupid idea. Create one more stupid thing that a soldier can get an Article 15 for. Stupid beaureacrats. Has to be being pushed by civilian nanny-staters that have infiltrated the Pentagon.

theguardianii on July 10, 2009 at 5:49 PM

I agree. I mean how stupid is that my 19 year old son can carry a weopon in defense of his country but can’t have a beer…

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM

I’d like to present him with two cases of good beer, a carton of Marlboro Lights, 2 hot Korean babes and a very heart-felt THANK YOU!

DarkCurrent on July 10, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Does that apply to the Commander-in-Chief…if Obama were smart, he would kill that idea

RedSoxNation on July 10, 2009 at 5:49 PM

I think Obamas plan IS to demoralize our Military, this new tactic fits right in with that theory.

Conservalicious on July 10, 2009 at 5:50 PM

CapedConservative on July 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM
seven on July 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Don’t know either of your points. Homosexuality is banned in the military. Why are you even bringing it up?

Esthier on July 10, 2009 at 5:51 PM

But I get your point, banning something because it becomes demonized is probably not the best idea.

thevastlane on July 10, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Yeah…I knew what you meant. Still, I will admire the restaurant owner who builds his business on a no-smoking policy. Hell, he’s likely to be very successful. But that gives me the choice of going or not going. The government dictating this is absurd.

genso on July 10, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Subsidized how? You buy them in the commissary and PX and don’t pay the taxes on them. Hardly a subsidy when everthing else bought there is tax-free, and these folks don’t make what the private sector makes. Leave them alone or we won’t have any military. Jeanette on July 10, 2009 at 5:46 PM

My bride (of several decades) does smoke. I easily and regularly buy cigs off post cheaper than the PX, including taxes! Few, if any, commissary’s sell cigs anymore. Sam’s is the cheapest.

Dingbat63 on July 10, 2009 at 5:52 PM

I’ll go with STFU! If we can subsidize people with food stamps, rent, medical care, child care, vacation, bail outs, illegal non-profits(ACORN), union thugs, blah, blah, blah… then we can damn well subsidize smoke for the people in the military who chose to smoke! Man oh man – what the hell is wrong with you people???

Sporty1946 on July 10, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Has anybody thought of the fact that we have a volunteer military and that this may just be one more reason for not to enlist?

CarlaPHX on July 10, 2009 at 5:52 PM

think Obamas plan IS to demoralize our Military, this new tactic fits right in with that theory.

Conservalicious on July 10, 2009 at 5:50 PM

i think you are right. this fits his mind set…

SHARPTOOTH on July 10, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Rather than banning it, end the subsidy on base and give a modest financial incentive to those active duty soldiers who commit not to smoke. If they are caught smoking, they have to pay the incentive back. That way it does not seem so much as a punishment.

Mr. Joe on July 10, 2009 at 5:52 PM

The claim made in the USA Today article(single-sourced to an anti-smoking advocate, naturally,) that the DoD subsidizes tobacco is a blatant lie. In the 90′s, andprior to that, AAFES/BX (the military department store system,) and DECA (the military grocery system,) sold tobacco *well* below the price off base. That was because AAFES/BX and DECA are exempt from state or municipal taxes, which make up the vast majority of the cost of a pack of smokes. In the early 90′s DECA changed to a policy of matching local economy prices under pressure from anti-smoking groups, and a few years later AAFES/BX followed suit. Tobacco is still cheaper on post than on the economy, but only because they still do not add sales tax into the price. And cigarettes have not been issued in rations for even longer. This meme is so out of date, it nearly predates the internet.

Cyfir on July 10, 2009 at 5:53 PM

I can not say how many WW11 and VM movies I have seen where someone who is dying is given a cigarette to help them with the death. This gester, along with his comrades make his ordeal a bit easy to deal with. Some don’t smoke, but some do, why is big bro. saying to our enlisted, you are SOL?
L

letget on July 10, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Rather than banning it, end the subsidy on base and give a modest financial incentive to those active duty soldiers who commit not to smoke. If they are caught smoking, they have to pay the incentive back. That way it does not seem so much as a punishment.

Mr. Joe on July 10, 2009 at 5:52 PM

How about this. Rather than doing anything….do nothing and leave them the hell alone.

genso on July 10, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Take the smokes from the Joes…. and watch what “Flies”.

A few higher ranking officials come to mind.

upinak on July 10, 2009 at 5:54 PM

A trainwreck of an idea. Hey! Let’s ban bottled water for troops while we’re at it.

Ugly on July 10, 2009 at 5:54 PM

My kid was in the Navy in the early 1990s, and said they tried to ban smoking on ships back then, and were working towards a “smoke free Navy”. That went out the window after a while, even though many ships put asinine rules in place such as the only place you could smoke was next to the garbage disposal area, which stank to high heaven. Many sailors (like my son) took up chewing tobacco, since it was less trouble and didn’t require standing by mountains of garbage to do it.
He’s been out of the Navy for ten years now, but still chews tobacco occasionally, but smokes when he has a beer.

bradley11 on July 10, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Sporty1946 on July 10, 2009 at 5:52 PM

+100

It is the least we can do! Without them, we do not have this discussion.

rukiddingme on July 10, 2009 at 5:55 PM

The whole problem started with women. Get the women out of the militart, get the other women (Democrats) out of the militatary, let guys putting their lives on the line “smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em,.
I’m so sick and tired of the G.D. Pses in this country ruining it.

Jeff from WI on July 10, 2009 at 5:56 PM

I’d like to present him with two cases of good beer, a carton of Marlboro Lights, 2 hot Korean babes and a very heart-felt THANK YOU!

DarkCurrent on July 10, 2009 at 5:49 PM

His sgt. made him quit smoking…I’m sure he’d appreciate the rest, though.

ladyingray on July 10, 2009 at 5:56 PM

If they want to kill themselves, by all means go for it.

dcwvu on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Just to be clear about your language, do you not like smoking, but don’t care if they smoke? Or, do you actually want our soldiers to die ASAP?

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 5:56 PM

How about this. Rather than doing anything….do nothing and leave them the hell alone.

genso on July 10, 2009 at 5:54 PM

^^^this

Ugly on July 10, 2009 at 5:56 PM

LOL…that should start some trouble

Jeff from WI on July 10, 2009 at 5:57 PM

rukiddingme on July 10, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Thank you!

Sporty1946 on July 10, 2009 at 5:57 PM

Yeah! And let’s ban homosexuality too! Another iconic image is the poor gay guy laying in bed near death sucking down health care and raising our insurance rates because he didn’t have the good sense to keep his pecker out of another guy’s poop chute. That cost is FAR higher than all the veterans you have seen in a commissary in a wheelchair with oxygen buying cartons of cigarettes…

CC

CapedConservative on July 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Well at least conservatives are doing all they can to deflect those pesky stereotypes of themselves…

dcwvu on July 10, 2009 at 5:58 PM

I don’t understand why everyone is so taken aback. Individual liberty is so passe. We are now all about “collective liberty”. Just ask John Cougar Menstrualcramp. /sarc

DeathB4Tyranny on July 10, 2009 at 5:59 PM

But at least they still have Angelina Jolie

seriously, a true patriot. check it out.

ranchoforte on July 10, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Even Communists are free to smoke.

What are they fighting for again?

Browncoatone on July 10, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Well at least conservatives are doing all they can to deflect those pesky stereotypes of themselves…

dcwvu on July 10, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Hey, “rickshaw” boy….you have little room to talk.

genso on July 10, 2009 at 6:00 PM

How about this. Rather than doing anything….do nothing and leave them the hell alone.

genso on July 10, 2009 at 5:54 PM

I concur.

PBoilermaker on July 10, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Just to be clear about your language, do you not like smoking, but don’t care if they smoke? Or, do you actually want our soldiers to die ASAP?

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 5:56 PM

I don’t care for smoking, but if they choose to they should be allowed. The government shouldn’t subsidize it though. As for them dying, GWB has already seen to that without cigs for over 4000 of them.

dcwvu on July 10, 2009 at 6:01 PM

ranchoforte on July 10, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Holy CRAP… I just sent that in to tips@hotair not three minutes ago! Different site, though.

Ugly on July 10, 2009 at 6:02 PM

s for them dying, GWB has already seen to that without cigs for over 4000 of them.

dcwvu on July 10, 2009 at 6:01 PM

You are a PUTZ!

Sporty1946 on July 10, 2009 at 6:02 PM

though I wonder whether military smokers are compromising their battle readiness by puffing on cancer sticks.

No.

Most guys never do 20 years. If a young kid in his late teens/early 20s wants to light up it isn’t going to do a damn thing. The reason there is a subsidy at all is because the military pays peanuts. Other things are subsidized in similar ways.

What’s next, banning military discounts at fast-food restaurants? No more “gut-trucks”? Lean-cuisine MREs?

Dumb idea.

Leave it to the Dems, trying to lower morale every chance they get.

reaganaut on July 10, 2009 at 6:03 PM

One of the less iconic images is the geezer with the motorized wheelchair-mounted oxygen tank/mask in line at the Commissary with nothing but a half dozen cartons of smokes in his basket.

James on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

If we all listed our sins, errors, mistakes and weakness, there would certainly be some that would save the US tax dollars if they were banned. And if all of us were caught doing these on camera, none of us would look like an icon of virtue either.

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 6:05 PM

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