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.


Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Some things are a given, service members surrender certain liberties when they join the armed forces. Freedom of speech is drastically curtailed when speaking about superiors in the chain of command, as just one example. A necessary requirement to maintain good order and discipline. A ban on smoking has no necessity to lean on.

I wouldn’t expect a mass exedous. Everyone thought that would happen when Navy Chiefs could no longer sport a beard and when they implemented Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I don’t expect an exedous because this idea is so stupid it will never fly.

Hog Wild on July 10, 2009 at 6:06 PM

What if the troops just promise to be 95% cured?

Seriously? I’m pretty sure that pot and other drugs are not allowed in the military, but I’d be willing to go out on a limb that one or two soldiers have smoked a joint once or twice.

Unenforcable…and stupid.

DrAllecon on July 10, 2009 at 6:07 PM

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

dcwvu on July 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Life kills.

anuts on July 10, 2009 at 6:07 PM

This is just an example of the asinine regulations that will come down the pike if universal healthcare is adopted. “Hmm… it costs us money if we allow people to . Let’s make it illegal to be unhealthy.”

PersonalLiberty on July 10, 2009 at 6:07 PM

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

Since you are keeping score, what is the casualty count of Obambi’s war?

rukiddingme on July 10, 2009 at 6:07 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. Having some experience in the military, smoking was often the least dangerous thing done. BTW, in my ten years service, I didn’t have a SINGLE day of “smoking-related ailments”.

We ask these kids to put their life on the line, but if they choose, they shouldn’t be allowed to smoke. (or drink until 21,for that matter) It’s stupid to even make the suggestion.

jack herman on July 10, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Our troops do so much for us — is it too much to ask to let them enjoy their simple pleasures?

Take your smoke ban and shove it.

Richard Romano on July 10, 2009 at 6:10 PM

…reports that the Pentagon’s health experts

And I want to know what in the world one of those is?

anuts on July 10, 2009 at 6:11 PM

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

Pure, unadulterated BDS. Seek help.

Richard Romano on July 10, 2009 at 6:11 PM

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

It’s hard to see the broader picture when your head’s up your ass. Back out for perspective.

DarkCurrent on July 10, 2009 at 6:11 PM

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

So, let’s ban Boooosh, not cigarettes. Ah ha.

Um… he’s not the president anymore.

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 6:13 PM

And I want to know what in the world one of those is?

anuts on July 10, 2009 at 6:11 PM

What was Mary Poppins? If these young men and women are mature enough and responsible enough to carry weapons, operate highly technical and expensive equipment and remain disciplined under enemy fire, they should at least be given responsibility to decide this for themselves.

genso on July 10, 2009 at 6:14 PM

This is so stoopid. They really want to turn us into a nanny state. Sheesh.

My dad died from lung cancer and it was his choice. Yeah, his death affects us now and deal with his loss. It sucks. But newsflash–we all die, he went sooner because of smoking. I don’t smoke and I HATE smoking. If adults want to smoke, it’s their choice. This is a freedom & liberty issue.

How about Obama goes first on giving up his smokes.

conservative pilgrim on July 10, 2009 at 6:15 PM

I have always wondered when someone would try to sue the military for promoting cigarette use. Even though the warnings were on the packages I was told that the military use to distribute cigarettes to the service members in Vietnam. I know it’s hard to sue the government but I am still surprised some enthusiastic slip & fall lawyer didn’t try.

Cindy Munford on July 10, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Sure. Hey, let’s ban “the fritz” too. Because a GI who has head injuries despite kevlar doesn’t remain an “effective”, he’s off the line..but he does live for decades longer than his daddy and granddaddy did when they took shrapnel or bullets through the steel helmets. HUGE costs compared to a funeral, no net gain to battle strength…

Wait, delete that.

Gates would go for it.

Chris_Balsz on July 10, 2009 at 6:16 PM

If the pentagon implemented this policy they would 1) never be able to enforce it 2) if they could enforce it they would lose the heart of the military, the NCO corps.

knat on July 10, 2009 at 6:17 PM

I’m just curious, why has no one brought up the PACT act just signed by Obama which, when activated, will effectively ban the sale of clove cigarettes and other non-menthol flavored smoking products? I’ve noticed nothing on any blog, and trying to find people reporting on it outside of cigarette sales sites is getting me nowhere.

This is the only thing I’ve found.

MadisonConservative on July 10, 2009 at 6:20 PM

I’m in the service. I don’t smoke.

Yeah, there’s no possible way this can actually happen. Watch enlistments cut in half.

Red Cloud on July 10, 2009 at 6:20 PM

If Obama’s health care plan goes into effect and lifestyle risk factors are taken into account when deciding if treatment should be given for any condition, the cost factor becomes moot, doesn’t it? I assume vets would fall under the same umbrella as civilians in that regard. Health care rationing should stop the Pentagon fretting about increased costs.

a capella on July 10, 2009 at 6:21 PM

you are commander in chief. LEAD BY EXAMPLE

SHARPTOOTH on July 10, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Okay! New menus for all commissaries:

Waffles at every meal.

— Bichelle

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 6:21 PM

To make this even more assinine, it also calls for new enlistees to be tobacco free. Are we in a position to be turning away good men because they smoke? Gawd, sometimes it feels like I am living in a parallel universe..

Conservalicious on July 10, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Oh great. So in the future, under Obama, whenever someone yells “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em” will result in all the gay soldiers doing stuff to each other.

Guardian on July 10, 2009 at 6:24 PM

While they’re at it, why don’t they ban tobacco use for their commander in chief?

Oh, nevermind. I forgot that party members are exempt.

Sign of the Dollar on July 10, 2009 at 6:24 PM

I smoke occasionaly. In Iraq, I smoked A TON. A lot of guys try to quit, but in a combat zone, that smoke is the only thing keeping you sane sometimes. It really helps to calm your nerves after something happens. The men and women who serve are big boys and girls. If Gates pushes this, I got a place in my mind where he can stick all those smokes.

mfrantom on July 10, 2009 at 6:24 PM

This is dumb. They aren’t considering it for any battle readiness or unit discipline related issues. This is purely a cost cutting idea.

In my opinion you don’t deny a member of the military any freedom that is available to the rest of the citizens of this country unless it affects their ability to do the mission, their unit discipline/moral or they are in an area that has different rules (like no alcohol in a Muslim combat zone).

JadeNYU on July 10, 2009 at 6:25 PM

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

Tell you what. Once you ruck-up and get your ass in the grass, I’ll consider listening to your drivel. Piss-off maggot.

Sam_I_Am on July 10, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Smoking is the highest form of patriotism.

If we ban smoking in the military, the terrorists will have won.

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 6:28 PM

If we ban smoking in the military, the terrorists will have won.

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 6:28 PM

I thought they won during our last election.

Guardian on July 10, 2009 at 6:32 PM

I don’t believe that they cause that many health problems. Fighting soldiers are young. (The ones I know call them “energy sticks.”) If they want to outlaw smoking in buildings be my guess. But to try to justify that the reason young soldiers shouldn’t smoke is because of health problems is b.s.

Smoking causes health issues that the VA has to spend a great deal of money treating later down the road.

You mean when the soldier get’s out of the military and smokes for 30-40 years? But, why should those in the service be penalized for what those out of the service do?

And what are they going to do? Reprimand those soldiers off duty who smoke? I hate smoking but I hate the idea of turning the military into high school more.

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.”

We got that already. It’s just part of the plan to turn of soldiers into a bunch of Fighting Metro-sexuals.

Blake on July 10, 2009 at 6:33 PM

Doesn’t this take tax revenue from S-CHIP?

thomasaur on July 10, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Hot damn, it’s come full circle…

Fifty years ago in basic training the Army got me to start smokin’ by including little 4-packs of cheroots in “C-rations”. Then they kept me and tens of thousands of other GI’s, “doin’ it” by charging ten cents a pack or $1 a carton in the PX.

Ironically two bucks was the cost of a “short time” on Oki’ back in 1962 and you could buy a “typhoon fifth”* for $ five.

Now yer talkin’ “party time” soldier…!

*”typhoon fifth” was equal to about two fifths or half a gallon!

Geezer on July 10, 2009 at 6:34 PM

This is buuuull shiiiiit!
What’s next, whores and booze?

This will make sure we can’t make our recruiting quotas.

Dumb bastadges!

TheSitRep on July 10, 2009 at 6:37 PM

I believe there is a federal law on the books that requires the exchanges (AAFES, NEX, and MCX) and commissaries to keep their prices within a certain percentage of prices found for the same items in the local area, so that they don’t cannibalize local merchants. About the only real advantage is no sales tax. The same law used to limit exchanges from selling TVs larger than 27 inches diagonal, that portion long since done away.

Cigarette prices are not very different from the local area here in Norfolk/VA Beach/Chesapeake area, so there’s no real advantage except maybe sales tax.

There USED to be what we called “sea stores” – duty free cigarettes only available once the ship was 12 miles out. and they were less than half the price on land at the time – $7 per carton in 1990, versus about $17-20 on land. Oh yeah, we used to stock up.

JeffWeimer on July 10, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Future USA Today headline:

Obama and Congress Removed by Military Coup – Individual Freedom and Constitution Restored”

bonnertk on July 10, 2009 at 6:41 PM

..and they think they are having a hard time getting people to enlist now. I wouldn’t reenlist if this came down.

stackedeck on July 10, 2009 at 6:42 PM

What’s next, whores and booze?

TheSitRep on July 10, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Yes. Servicemen can be prosecuted for soliciting prostitutes overseas under “human trafficking” laws and regulations.

JeffWeimer on July 10, 2009 at 6:44 PM

This is absolute Bullshit. So we can go risk our asses, but we can’t smoke a celebratory cigar after…WTFO? Glad my retirement date is now only 18 months away. Let the f’in fags and anti-smoking Nazis defend the damn country.

jwp1964 on July 10, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Geezer on July 10, 2009 at 6:34 PM

I remember being a kid on a plane and getting tiny little boxes with a couple of cigarettes in them with my airplane kid meal.

Blake on July 10, 2009 at 6:52 PM

The Nanny-State Idiotocracy strikes again.

You can be sent to face AK-47′s, RPG’s, IED’s, and beheading, but they won’t let you relax with a smoke?

As a non-smoker I say; Screw that!

profitsbeard on July 10, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Oh puh-leaze!

“Soldier, put that out immediately! Are you not aware that the surgeon general has found that smoking can be hazardous to your health! Now, your orders are to cross the malarial infested swamp to the N.E., navigate the mine at grid 06-72-54, and charge the multiple dug in machine-gun nests entenched on hill 624!….and don’t forget to eat all your vegetables or you’ll get no dessert!”

I mean really…does no-one see the irony!

Archimedes on July 10, 2009 at 6:54 PM

If we ban smoking in the military, the terrorists will have won.

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 6:28 PM

I thought they won during our last election.

Guardian on July 10, 2009 at

Thanks for picking that up.

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 6:55 PM

The military complicates attempts to curb tobacco use by subsidizing tobacco products for troops who buy them at base exchanges and commissaries, says Kenneth Kizer, a committee member and architect of California’s anti-tobacco program.

Lying Activist.

Congress ended that 20 years ago. You don’t pay taxes on tobacco. No different than not paying taxes on a pair of Levis at the BX/PX. Shopette a carton of smokes $44.45 no tax, off base at Albertsons a carton of smokes $45.99 before taxes. At some locations overseas they are rationed, along with coffee, alcohol.

Strong leadership could make the military tobacco-free in five to 10 years, Kizer says.

Great you know what that means, LOR, bad Enlisted Performance Reports, let’s ruin a person’s career over smoking.

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

I wouldn’t mind burying you upside down and using you as a bike rack. Only thing you’d be useful for.

BDU-33 on July 10, 2009 at 6:57 PM

profitsbeard on July 10, 2009 at 6:52 PM

lol true buddy

smoke up if ya got’em.

This stupid. What’s new

bazil9 on July 10, 2009 at 6:58 PM

*is

bazil9 on July 10, 2009 at 6:59 PM

First, I reject the premise that a smoke free army is a healthier army,, or that there is even anything healthy about being in the army! Wars are not healthy for crying out loud!!!
There is certainly also more to health than just vitamins, exercise and proper diet.
An RN told me once that she was taught as a part of her training,, and has lived to see it throughout her work, there are patients who die who, medically, should have lived. She also said there are patients who live that medically, never had a chance. The one thing that made the difference was the attitude and “spirit” of the patient!
Spirit and attitude in a fighting force means more than a proper nutrition plan based on the freaking latest food pyramid!!

… a change that could dramatically alter a culture…

That is what this is really about!! Attacking culture! Attacking and destroying not just the military culture,, but the American culture! The culture of freedom, liberty,, the culture of the rugged individual!! And to replace that culture with,, yes,, the libs idea of the master race!! Isn’t that really what these things are always about???
It really isn’t about smoking,, it is about changing our culture from freedom and independence to one of slavery and dependence!
Our nation has won every major war since our founding and it was won on the backs of smokers! And in WWII our soldiers,,, our nation,, beat the Nazi war machine which was headed by an anti-smoking zealot who also dreamed of a master race,, blond haired and blue eyed and yes,, smoke free and healthy!

JellyToast on July 10, 2009 at 6:59 PM

I’m in the Navy, and everyone who has ever been on a Navy ship knows that you do not get a break unless you smoke. If you say to your boss or a chief that “I’m gonna go stand over here and do nothing for 10 minutes” You might get a boot up yer keister. However, if you say “I’m gonna go smoke for 10 minutes” you get a response that is something like this “Okay see you in a few.”

alohapundit on July 10, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Sheeeesh! Whatever happened to the good ol’ days when the DIs would give young recruits a ten minute reprieve each hour during those incredibly long days of forced marching with a 65 pound backpack, with the old admonishion “light ‘em up if you got ‘em, and if you ain’t got one, bum one from a buddy”?

‘Course, that was back in the day when they included a mini-pack of Chesterfields or Pall Malls in every box of C-rats.

I always thought it tended to increase your “endurance”, (i.e., whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger). Silly me.

In ‘Nam you were “square” if all you smoked were “straights”, but they were free and plentiful. Luckily I managed to kick the habit cold-turkey two months shy of DEROS.

If a smoke, or two, or twenty is what it takes to calm you down after a firefight, so be it. All you nannys out there who have never been under enemy fire need to lay off. Besides, after chow time with cold ham and lima beans C-rats, you needed a good smoke or two to get the taste out of your mouth.

StimulateTHIS on July 10, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Wow….nothing like a nicotine deprived military to win a war.
How much is it going to cost to supply them with patches?

What egg-sucking liberal mucky-muck put this into effect? They’re already are fighting a PC war, in horrible conditions, coming home stressed (or dead), and you want to enact a smoking intervention? You people are “BRAIN-DEAD”!!!

hopefloats on July 10, 2009 at 7:07 PM

For the uninitiated I should probably define the reason a half gallon of booze was called a “typhoon fifth”.

A typhoon in the South Pacific went thru various stages or “conditions”…

Condition 1: You battened down the hatches and covered the windows. [first day] and purchased your “typhoon fifth”!

Condition 2: You were required to return to base or “Class 2” housing. [second day]

Condition 3: You were restricted to base or “Class 2” housing. [third and forth days]

Note: If you were lucky enough to have “Class 2” [off base housing] that’s when you started working on yer “typhoon fifth”. The idea being if you were a “fifth a day” kinda guy or gal, a whole half gallon would last you for the two days when you were restricted to base or “class 2″ housing under “Condition 3”.

By the fifth day you were usually back to “Condition 2” when you could safely emerge to buy a second “typhoon fifth”…!

Now you know the drill…?

Geezer on July 10, 2009 at 7:12 PM

What’s next? Stop flushing the toilet every time you drop a bomb to save water?
If this is being discussed for the military, the creep of government into every orifice is close…..it costs too much to pay for surgery to remove your tumor….you did this to your self since you were a smoker, no surgery…go home and die.
I’m so glad I have the government to wipe my butt….

We are all Katrina survivors now…..

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:13 PM

I had a drill sergeant who smoked and ran 4 1/2 minute miles (not at the same time, mind you). And smoking is banned during basic.

I could see having a smoking ban stateside, and in peacetime, but lift the ban in combat zones.

Frozen Tex on July 10, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Smoking is the highest form of patriotism.

If we ban smoking in the military, the terrorists will have won.

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 6:28 PM

*Takes SUV over to the icehouse, using energy and emitting CO2 to get a pack of smokes to shove it to big brother*

Damn, patriotism never felt so good…..cough, can I just stick to Jager and be patriotic?

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Chest Xrays for smokers leads to unnecessary treatments.

Blake on July 10, 2009 at 7:20 PM

On another note:

I remember my in-processing and alot of talk amongst smokers about quitting, getting in shape, blah-blah-blah. At the end of training we had a greater percentage smokers than when we started!

The military is already having man power issues and demoralisation with the Commie-in-Chief. Providing additional motivation of ETSing by paternalism run amok will not be conducive to retention at all!

You cannot run a machine of turning boys into men, and then treat them like infants. Just sayin.

Archimedes on July 10, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Oh man! An empty smoke deck on U.S. Navy ships? THAT’S hard to imagine.

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Have they all just completely lost their minds?

Smitty makes a few good points:

Should you feel sufficiently oppressed, you’re free to eject from the regime at the end of your enlistment, or resign your commission, as the case may be. But this is merely the a hint of the kind of shenanigans we’ll enjoy once government-run health care extends beyond the healthy young volunteers of the military to cover everyone in the country.

Rae on July 10, 2009 at 7:23 PM

How about they stop smoking when the commander-in-chief stops/
Fair?
RR

ramrants on July 10, 2009 at 7:23 PM

First, the Military does not subsidize smoking. The reason it is cheaper than in town is that high state taxes don’t apply. In fact the military has a much higher profit margin than civilian stores for this reason.

AAFES is prohibited from selling tobacco and alcohol at more than 20% below local prices (although they do have sales below that amount sometimes).

So your orginal premise is incorrect. It’s not a soldier’s fault that some states choose the over tax something.

clevbrian19d on July 10, 2009 at 7:26 PM

“Life kills.”

anuts on July 10, 2009 at 6:07 PM

Dead-on(pardon the pun)point!

As iI am fond of pointing out to various protaonists of the nanny state, There is only ONE condition found to have a 100% fatality rate…LIFE!

Archimedes on July 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

They sacrifice a lot more than their lungs out there. Suck it up and take care of them.

How about they stop smoking when the commander-in-chief stops

ramrants on July 10, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Seriously.

spmat on July 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Look, smoking reduces physical abilities that soldiers need to count on in combat.

I view banning smoking as little different from weight requirements and hygiene regulations.

Sackett on July 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Imagine the Senate Hearings on Un-American Activities:

Are you now or have you ever been a Camel smoker?

When was the last time you puffed on a Maverick?

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Also the premise that since it increases cost we have a right to control it, is the best argument I’ve ever seen to prohibite Obamacare.

The fact that some poster’s here actually entertain that notion astounds me. It will be a really fun ride down that slippery slope once the public option health care plans start prohibiting anything that may tend to increase cost.

clevbrian19d on July 10, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Oh man! An empty smoke deck on U.S. Navy ships? THAT’S hard to imagine.

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Haha. Never gonna happen. Where else would you pick up all the ships scuttlebutt??

alohapundit on July 10, 2009 at 7:31 PM

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Imagine the Senate Hearings on Un-American Activities:

Are you now or have you ever been a Camel smoker?

When was the last time you puffed on a Maverick?

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Gives new meaning to the words ‘Camel Humper’. Did you ever have that camel in or around your mouth?
I’m still mad that they banned Joe….I love that camel.

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:31 PM

I think this comes down to several key pints: Firstly, the government provides healthcare to service members, therefore, they think that they can decide what’s good and not good for you. Second, anybody has been on watch in engineering/ in the CIC/ in the foxhole/ on base/ anywhere else where we have service members do deserve to have a smoke if they want it. Third, if they ban smoking, what other “unhealthy” things can they ban?

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:31 PM

To make this even more assinine, it also calls for new enlistees to be tobacco free. Are we in a position to be turning away good men because they smoke? Gawd, sometimes it feels like I am living in a parallel universe..

Conservalicious on July 10, 2009 at 6:23 PM

When I joined, I admitted to experimental pot smoking. I’m assuming that will be ok…but any past tobacco use is reason to deny enlistment? I further assume this will be an easy out for people who want to terminate their enlistments early….(much easier than claiming you’re sexually attracted to your platoon sergeant)….just get caught with a pack of smokes in your wall locker. Bizarre…

DngrMse on July 10, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Look, smoking reduces physical abilities that soldiers need to count on in combat.

I view banning smoking as little different from weight requirements and hygiene regulations.

Sackett on July 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Are you gonna be as chipper when the government tells you when and how to hump your spouse too? Invasion of personal freedoms.

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:32 PM

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:31 PM

One smooth character…if I recall

bazil9 on July 10, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Look, smoking reduces physical abilities that soldiers need to count on in combat.

I view banning smoking as little different from weight requirements and hygiene regulations.

Sackett on July 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Listen soldiers are people not Robots, at what point is the diminishing marginal return of total control gone to far.

clevbrian19d on July 10, 2009 at 7:33 PM

The root,,, and I am talking about the root of all this lib crap,,, the root is to attack individual freedom.
I think the act of smoking signifies something to the Marxist mind,, to the elites that they want to stamp out. A guy sitting and having a smoke,, that simple act of pleasure,, of an individual lighting up publicly,, doing something so simple is an affront to the elitist. Don’t ask me why,,, but I think it is.
When a lib minded highly educated elitist comes along living their lives perfectly according to all their lib elitist doctrines,, they eat the right foods and love to be seen eating the right foods, regardless of how horrible they may taste,,, drive the right cars and love to be seen driving the right cars,, they watch only the “best films” and love to be seen and known by the films they watch and the company they keep,,, they do all that is in their little libs minds to do,, and yet they are miserable on the inside. Their lives are empty,, and then they see some Joe sitting at a bar or on a park bench smoking a cig and this guy looks so happy and content. That is like a slap in the face!! It is an attack on everything the lib has built his life on,,, the elitist is doing all the right things, eating all the right foods and living a carbon free life and he is miserable beyond words! And here is this guy puffing away destroying his health and happy while doing it!
That is as much what this is about as anything else!

JellyToast on July 10, 2009 at 7:33 PM

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:31 PM

One smooth character…if I recall

bazil9 on July 10, 2009 at 7:32 PM

That camel was a smooth cat.

HornetSting on July 10, 2009 at 7:34 PM

I can’t imagine ever making through those 12 hour watches without cigarettes and coffee.

During my Navy stint, we not only smoked inside the command weather office but during the Admiral’s briefing as well. Hell, the ol’ man would usually be puffing away on his pipe too.

The p*ssification of America marches on.

The Ugly American on July 10, 2009 at 7:34 PM

My dad tells me he started smoking because he was in the army. He tells me of the sargent telling him, smoke ‘em if you have ‘em. That was a way to get a break. He is now 63 years old and smoking like a freight train. I don’t blame people of his generation for smoking, they did not have the information that younger people do. But, young people who are smoking? They knew damn well that what they were starting was not good. I spent nine hours in the ER with my mom yesterday. As soon as she got in the truck for me to take her home, she lit up. I must say I am an anti-smoker.

TXMomof3 on July 10, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Sackett on July 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

I do kind of see your point there. Here’s how I view it: a service member should be able to smoke as long as they can pass their PRT/PFT (physical fitness test which requires a fairly decent amount of timed running). If you can run a 1.5 mile for the Navy or 3 mile for the USMC in the allotted time, you’re fine.

I don’t mind they tell me how much I can weigh, how many pushups and situps I have to do, or how short my hair has to be, but smoking and drinking (when done responsibly, of course)is my own darn business.

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:36 PM

I think “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em” went out with WWII.

If I were in a position of leading combat heroes, I would make sure they had the best advice and tools to keep them in the best health. As much of a target as cigarettes have become for Liberals, I would want the military to avoid them.

Our troops have the POTUS, congress and a large portion of the US population against them. They need all the positive health possibilities available to keep them safe and healthy. That’s the least we can do for the best and the brightest.

Hening on July 10, 2009 at 7:39 PM

Look, smoking reduces physical abilities that soldiers need to count on in combat.

Sackett on July 10, 2009

And what about the increase in mental abilities???
You cannot separate the two, physical and mental, in combat. I’d rather have a guy by my side who had a steady hand and keen mind than a nervous wreck with clean lungs.
Look,, our soldiers are already proving,, they have proven that they can win wars while smoking!!! Morale is major component of any fighting force! This is insane! but this is where we are at today when to many of us have become feminized and socialized!

JellyToast on July 10, 2009 at 7:40 PM

Hening on July 10, 2009 at 7:39 PM

My dad served from 1966-68, they were saying that then.

TXMomof3 on July 10, 2009 at 7:40 PM

you ban tobacco use and try to meet recruitment goals. idiots is too soft a word for this. Here is an idea LET PEOPLE BE FREE> STOP TRYING TO BE A NANNY STATE. If the cost of illness is a problem simply stop funding those illnesse and let the people decide if smoking is worth it. At age 18-25 the dangers of smoking are small. It is in almost all cases only after years and years of smoking is there problems. For god’s sake can people learn to mind their own business.

unseen on July 10, 2009 at 7:41 PM

I spent nine hours in the ER with my mom yesterday. As soon as she got in the truck for me to take her home, she lit up. I must say I am an anti-smoker.

TXMomof3 on July 10, 2009 at 7:36 PM

My Irish grandmother asked me to get her a pack of Camels as she lay dying in the hospital. It didn’t matter since she too far gone. What I hate about smokes is that they advanced the death of so many of my family members. I’m with you.

Hening on July 10, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Hening on July 10, 2009 at 7:39 PM

I agree. That’s why we have many wonderful GMT’s (“General Military Training” aka “Long, boring Powerpoints”) dedicated to such subjects as responsible drinking and smoking. I’m personally a non-smoker by choice because I know what it does to you. I think that the military gives all service members an education regarding nicotine and alcohol and then they are left to decide how they are going to handle it.I think that’s the best approach, myself.

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:43 PM

they need all the positive health possibilities available to keep them safe and healthy. That’s the least we can do for the best and the brightest.

Hening on July 10, 2009

How about a reason to live??? Why not just rid ourselves of all pleasure??? You know,, a lot of harm comes by pleasure! I bet pleasure costs the health system billions of dollars. Pleasure causes accidents, causes sickness, cause crime! Did you know that?? We don’t really need pleasure for anything. Pleasure causes obesity too. Yeah,, i think we need to outlaw pleasure,, just get rid of it altogether,,
we could start by banning smiles. A smile is an accident waiting to happen.

JellyToast on July 10, 2009 at 7:45 PM

If this happens, I will officially stop caring about America, because America will be dead to me.

CoffeeMan on July 10, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Man, the next thing will be alcohol and then (poof!) there goes the Navy….

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:47 PM

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

elduende on July 10, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Absolute! This nanny state is getting me down.

labwriter on July 10, 2009 at 7:47 PM

JellyToast on July 10, 2009 at 7:45 PM

I take it your a smoker. Chill out, dude. If you want to smoke, fine. I only have issues with members of my family smoking (they are the one’s that effect me) and people in my home or car. I personally feel that outlawing smoking in restaurants is wrong. The owner of the business should be the one to make that decision. If I don’t want to be around the smoke, it is my responsibility to leave.

TXMomof3 on July 10, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Well, I’ll be happy to follow the ban, just as soon as our Commander-in-Chief quits smoking. It’s bad for ya, ya know!

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:43 PM

I understand what you are saying, and hold the military in the same respect as you. What has to be understood is that the military used to promote smoking. If someone didn’t smoke while the rest of the unit did, they would get undesirable duties as far as not getting a break. Men started to smoke based on wanting to get some time off. I have one son in the Army and another training to be a Marine. I don’t want either of them thinking they have to smoke. Of course, the military doesn’t promote those ideals now but coming out as smoke free is a good thing.

Hening on July 10, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Also!

As I think about this further, I think this is indicative of what we can expect in turning ever more power to the state.

The excutive can can do this by fiat, soldiers upon enlistment give up many rights of self-determination. But this proposal demonstrates the extent of control over others’ lives this administration will exert given the opportunity to do so.

America Wake-The-F@#k-up! If the guv attains the the responsibility for your health, in the name of cost-saving they will exercise the right what you can & cannot do as well! 1st it’ll be cigarettes, then junk food, then alcohol, red meat and on and on!

The hand writing is on the wall. If they become resposible for the cost of your wellfare, they will be within their rights to dictate the measures required to garauntee your health.

Self indulgent behavior becomes a crime against the interests of the collective.

Other than the denizens of various threads like H/A, I do not think the population at large realizes the Orwellian direction this is all leading!

Archimedes on July 10, 2009 at 7:50 PM

As soon as she got in the truck for me to take her home, she lit up. I must say I am an anti-smoker.

TXMomof3 on July 10, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Good for you. Your choice…don’t smoke. Leave me the f’in choice of my own. Someone said it earlier…pussification of USA!

jwp1964 on July 10, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Archimedes on July 10, 2009 at 7:50 PM

I think you are right on target.

TXMomof3 on July 10, 2009 at 7:53 PM

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

elduende on July 10, 2009 at 5:20 PM

WRONG! Keep the Newports. Ban Barry!

Loxodonta on July 10, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Hening on July 10, 2009 at 7:49 PM

I agree. I think that the military certainly has changed for the better in many ways over the decades. The idea that smoking is the only acceptable for of break is really backward and stupid.

Btw, hope both your sons stay safe. I know you have got to be proud of both of them.

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:55 PM

jwp1964 on July 10, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Read what I said later. I don’t give a damn if you smoke. I don’t know you or care about you. I care about my parents because I want to keep them around. I feel like smoking bans are wrong. It is the non-smoker’s responsibility to to leave if there is an issue. That being said, I am the boss of my home and car.

TXMomof3 on July 10, 2009 at 7:55 PM

jwp1964 on July 10, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Well from the guys I have met in the service, America is still a strong and resilient nation and not…. ahem…. “sissified” in any way.

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:57 PM

This gets so old debunking the “smoking burdons the health care system” myths. It’s shameful that people keep perpetuating these myths since peer-reviewed studies show the complete opposite:

…..However, smokers die some 10 years earlier than nonsmokers, according to the CDC, and those premature deaths provide a savings to Medicare, Social Security, private pensions and other programs.

Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking-related spending and savings and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents.

Other researchers have reached similar conclusions.

A Dutch study published last year in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal said that health care costs for smokers were about $326,000 from age 20 on, compared to about $417,000 for thin and healthy people.

Also what’s never mentioned are the comparisons of obesity (38% bodyfat in men – which is probably half of you) and smoking. I’m sure the anti-smoking nazis would be shocked! shocked! at the results.

nottakingsides on July 10, 2009 at 7:57 PM

How about a reason to live??? Why not just rid ourselves of all pleasure??? You know,, a lot of harm comes by pleasure! I bet pleasure costs the health system billions of dollars. Pleasure causes accidents, causes sickness, cause crime! Did you know that?? We don’t really need pleasure for anything. Pleasure causes obesity too. Yeah,, i think we need to outlaw pleasure,, just get rid of it altogether,,
we could start by banning smiles. A smile is an accident waiting to happen.

JellyToast on July 10, 2009 at 7:45 PM

This says it all…thank you. Thou shalt not partake in even the smallesyt pleasure…f’in libtards.

jwp1964 on July 10, 2009 at 7:58 PM

nottakingsides on July 10, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Man! You smokers get nasty!

TXMomof3 on July 10, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Rightwingguy on July 10, 2009 at 7:55 PM

I’ll tell you a quick story. As a parent, I never let my sons get in cars with other teenage drivers. I was on the way to the store one day and saw a car wrapped around a tree with my sons friends sitting by an ambulance. He wasn’t there with them and they told me that he explained how he couldn’t ride in a car with other teenagers. Less than a year later, I get a picture of him in a Black Hawk being deployed with other teenagers. A parent has to believe that the military is taking care of their kids. It was a giant step for me to take emotionally.

Thank you for your understanding, and they are both HA fans.

Hening on July 10, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4 5