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07-12-09, 08:27 PM #1
Study : Smoking Too Dangerous For Soldiers
Study recommends total ban on smoking for soldiers
You've seen the iconic picture of a soldier with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, but that could soon be a thing of the past.
A new study commissioned by the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs recommends a complete ban on tobacco, which would end tobacco sales on military bases and prohibit smoking by anyone in uniform, not even combat troops in the thick of battle.
According to the study, tobacco use impairs military readiness in the short term. Over the long term, it can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. The study also says smokeless tobacco use can lead to oral and pancreatic cancer.
The Defense Department's top health officials are studying the report's suggestions and will make recommendations to the Pentagon's policy team and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The study recommends phasing out tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars over a five- to 10-year period.
However, the suggested ban does not sit well with many in uniform, including retired Gen. Russel Honore, best known for coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas with an ever-present stogie. He said soldiers at war need to puff.
"When you're tired and you've been going days on end with minimum sleep, and you are not getting the proper meals on time, that hit of tobacco can make a difference," said Honore, who was in charge of the Army's training programs before he retired.
Other soldiers questioned whether this was a good time to stamp out smoking, given the Army's concern with a high suicide rate.
"For some, unfortunately, they feel that smoking is their stress relief. Well if you take it away, what is the replacement?" said Sgt. 1st Class Gary Johnson.
The Pentagon supports the goal of a tobacco-free military, said spokeswoman Cynthia Smith.
"However, achieving that goal will depend on coincident reductions of tobacco use in the civilian population," she said.
Dr. Ken Kizer, the author of the study, found that civilians don't smoke as much as soldiers. One in three active duty soldiers smoke, he said, adding that among the general population, that number is less than one in five.
The Pentagon banned smoking in buildings on bases years ago. It has counselors on call to help service members quit. But while local governments have heavily taxed tobacco, the commissaries often sell it at deeply discounted prices.
"The military sends very mixed signals," Kizer said. "This is what's confusing to people."
The study found that profits from those tobacco sales -- $80 million to $90 million -- often pay for recreation and family programs on base.
07-12-09, 09:30 PM #2
I tend to think if it makes them feel better having a smoke, maybe it might help them physiologically to live through the hell holes. It might even calm them down enough to allow them to think more clearly in a chaotic situation.
No doubt that their conclusions about smoking being harmful are correct, so maybe they should invest more in smoking withdrawal treatment. I suspect they're just trying to save the VA money, though.
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07-12-09, 09:33 PM #3
Are they going to ban enemy bullets next? Let them have the fucking smokes.Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.
That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.
If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.
I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones
Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman
07-12-09, 10:23 PM #4
This is just freaking great. Some dumb bastards in an office telling servicemen how not to risk their lives. I don't smoke or dip but you can bet your ass I would if I was in that stressful of an environment, sleep deprived, and missing meals when I was hungry. When my brother was in Iraq I sent him two logs of Skole a month. He flat out told me that it was worth more than gold in non secured areas. If these morons sitting behind desks want to play with toy soldiers they need to take their needle dicks home and play a game of risk. Warriors should be extended a level of courtesy to be the masters of their own bodies while following their orders. Next damn thing we'll hear about is a dress code for foxholes.
Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:
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07-12-09, 10:25 PM #5He who has the money, signs the cheques.
He who signs the cheques, makes the rules.
He who makes the rules, has the power.
He who has the power, has the money.
07-13-09, 12:03 AM #6
Good Grief, these people are fighting for our freedom. Give them a break.
Banning tobacco usage for the military will never happen. The only way we are going to get people to stop using tobacco is that they make that choice for themselves. It's called free agency or freedom of choice. Just as banning the use of alcohol will never happen. Didn't we learn anything from prohibition? We can only educate so much. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. If banning tobacco usage in the military does happen, I will be highly surprised.
My place of employment (AAFES) supplies the military soldiers and airmen with various types of goods, including consumables for their PX's and BX's. As for cigarettes we get 2-3 semi trailer loads in a day. Chew, maybe half a short trailer load, and alcohol about 3 semi trailer loads. That's one day. That's a lot of money. I used to call one of the truck drivers the six million dollar man because thats about how much money he was carrying in the trailer. And thats just one distribution center.
Not saying smoking is right or healthy. On the contrary, it is a dirty, filthy rotten habit. I smoked from the time I was 18 til I watched my dad die from the effects of smoking when I was 26. I used to say that since it wasn't hurting my dad, then it wouldn't hurt me. His excuse for starting smoking in WWII was that they used to give the sailors a free pack of cigarettes and a candy bar a week. He had a friend that he offered to trade cigarettes for candy bar but his friend was greedy. So my dad got mad and smoked them. He carried that habit for 45 years until he finally decided to quit. Unfortunately the damage was already done and he died three years later at the age of 66.
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
07-13-09, 12:41 AM #7
If anybody in this world deserves the right to chose for himself whether or not to have a motherf**king smoke if he wants one to get a few moments of relaxation it's a combat soldier. Getting killed in combat is dangerous to your short and long term health also , they don't have any say in that.SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
07-13-09, 01:07 AM #8-=Twan007
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
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