The New Army...Smoke Free?

Sunday, July 12, 2009
Seems the Pentagon is looking at the possibility of a total ban on tobacco in the military. This would include "tobacco sales on military bases and prohibit smoking by anyone in uniform, not even combat troops in the thick of battle." I'm sure there's going to be a huge backlash by the average nicotene-addicted soldier but I'm all for it. Given everything we know about the dangers of smoking (lung/throat/tongue/lip cancer, high blood pressure, emphesyma, etc) including the inhalation of second-hand smoke, and the cost to the health care system and insurance premiums, why is this even a question? Aren't soldiers supposed to be in the prime of health? How can they be expected to defend our citizens when they're bent over hacking up a lung? I'm surprised that the military has taken this long to look at this issue. Fingers crossed that, if and when the ban passes, the Canadian governement quickly follows suit.

In related news, and a move I'm happy to support, the Alberta government has decided to KEEP the almost $3 a carton tobacco tax much to the chagrin of tobacco retailers. Unfortunately, they reversed the liquor tax. Personally, I say hike them both up. Seriously, $3 a carton is not really going to deter folks from smoking all that much. $10 a carton would be a bit more of an incentive.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's always refreshing to see someone with a positive attitude toward taxation. How about the tax on gasoline?

Heather said...

Interesting. I have a feeling it's not going to succeed...a volunteer army would probably balk at a smoking ban. It'd be great to see it succeed, though.

I'm with you on the 'sin' taxes.

SME said...

I'm usually OK with smoking bans, but c'mon - if you're risking your neck for your country, aren't you entitled to some habits that will calm your nerves?

On the other hand, who wants soldiers with emphysema and cancer?

Tough call.

sp said...

I think I'd take up smoking if I was in military in the U.S. How stressful that must be!

Of course I really do hope that something like a ban leads to more people quitting. It's a terrible habit and a terrible one to break as I well know.

tweetey30 said...

Been told cartons are going up a bunch here anyway so I agree with you here.

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