13 July 2009

New Military Policy From the Morale Supression Squad

For years, the Pentagon has been cranking out cheesy anti-smoking ads targeted at servicemembers, along with other bizarre PSAs, in the hopes of curbing the associated health costs. But now it looks like they are just going to try and outright ban those delicious cancer-sticks. From the Daily Mail (h/t Wek):

The investigation by the Institute of Medicine, commissioned by the Pentagon, found that a third of the country's three million servicemen and women uses tobacco, compared with a fifth in the general population.

The heaviest smokers - perhaps not surprisingly - were soldiers and Marines on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

About 37 per cent of soldiers and 36 per cent of Marines used tobacco. Combat veterans were 50 per cent more likely to smoke than troops who hadn't seen any fighting, the report said.
Brandon Friedman seems to think this is a good idea, after all military members surrender their freedoms on all sorts of matters. But, I wonder, if any senior enlisted personnel were consulted on this matter? Because they're the ones who are going to have to deal with the inevitable mutiny that takes place once this policy goes into effect. We had to stop smoking on the boat once when we had a freon leak out at sea. That was the worst 24 hours ever, and that's saying a lot for the Navy!

Another concern is that by using the logic that "it'll save taxpayer money", you can use the same line of reasoning to ban smoking, and anything else that makes life tolerable, for the entire country under Obamacare.


NateSF said...

Allowing people to smoke on a sub that has to recycle it's air for months at a time with scrubbers leaking amine, and fumes from painting in a closed atmosphere is one of the most absurd policies I witnessed while in the military. It made unbelievably boring and pointless missions even more demoralizing. Being in the military has always been a mostly boring job interspersed with intense moments of fear/excitement. Somehow non-smokers manage it just fine without tobacco. It's time the smokers learn to do the same.

As far as consulting the senior enlisted, that's a waste of time. 10 times out of 10 the career guys will just parrot whatever the official policy is unless it impacts them personally, and even then they won't contradict it openly. If the CNO or some other higher up wants to ban butts underway I'm all for it. It's their job to set the policy, not some 25 year E-8 that smokes 2 packs a day.

olgreydog7 said...

I think smoking is stupid. However, this is fucking America, not Russia(in Sovet Russia, cigarettes smoke you!). Smoke em if you got em I say. I doubt this will ever happen though. Groton has been on the base closure list for years, but it is still here. Even as long as the brass have been away from the real service, surely they remember that damn near every enlisted guy smokes. Why don't they just take away all liberty to included leave and port calls while they are at it. Oh, and don't forget to take aay housing so you are required to live on the boat. What a huge waste of tax money that is!

Anonymous said...

They came first for the pot smokers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a pot smoker;

And then they came for the cocaine sniffers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a cocaine sniffer;

And then they came for the Steroid Users, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a steroid user;

And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

Flag Gazer said...

Banning a LEGAL substance by the government that is proudly subsidized by the government has to be proof that we have TOO MUCH government.

Anyone that is under deployment stress shouldn't be on a quite smoking program - what is wrong with these people?

Xenocles said...

I'd just be happy if we could crack down on people thinking they're entitled to hold up work to take fifteen minute breaks during which they slowly poison themselves.

Me: "Where were you? We've been waiting to start for ten minutes."

MM3: "I had to go smoke."

subrookie said...

Didn't they used to give out Lucky Strikes in C-rations? Personally I don't think this has legs, but it will be almost as bad a PR idea they've had since Obama wanted vets to pay for their own medical care.

I'm ok with not allowing smoking in public places, but I could give a shit if a service man/woman cleaning her SAW wants to have a smoke. It's their right if they want to do it. What brand does the Big O smoke himself?

Nixon said...


No way, that's a better excuse than "I had to call my girlfriend topside".


Is this because you had to wear the cancerboy doo-rag during Westpac '04? I thought that was due to the COB making people paint underway?

jess roxx said...

here's an idea: how about charging smokers $25/mo for their share of the increase in the health care burden they incur by being smokers? you could do the same for the obese, but i don't think that's really an issue for the military.