July 11th, 2009 at 12:29am
And no surprises lay in the fact that it comes from within the US Government.
A proposed ban, on both the sale to, and smoking of, tobacco for military personnel. A move which could easily see a third, possibly more, of the military quit.
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.
And worryingly it’s not just a lone voice supporting this.
Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said the department supports a smoke-free military “and believes it is achievable.” She declined to elaborate on any possible ban.
Unless such a ban were to be extended to all US citizens, I really don’t see how it is legally workable. Tobacco, as a legal product, is a choice. Military personnel aren’t prohibited from drinking, so why should they be prohibited from smoking?
And how would the US military cope if a third of its staff were to quit?
One in three servicemembers use tobacco, the report says, compared with one in five adult Americans. The heaviest smokers are soldiers and Marines, who have done most of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the study says. About 37% of soldiers use tobacco and 36% of Marines. Combat veterans are 50% more likely to use tobacco than troops who haven’t seen combat.
It’s simple…it wouldn’t.
I’m not denying that there are health risks and associated health costs, related to smoking. But banning smoking won’t stop the smoking, it will just prompt the addicted to quit so that they can continue to smoke…and amongst the public, especially those sympathetic to the military, it will be seen as an assault on the military by the government…an incredibly unpatriotic thing to do, and not something any sane president would do while sitting on a “-7” approval rating.
Expect this report to be buried, and for the government’s propaganda machine to pump out a distraction quick smart. Aren’t they lucky that it’s Government Motors’ first day out of bankruptcy? And Obama is visiting the Pope? A perfect day to bury such a report.