Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DoD May Say 'Snuff 'Em If You Got 'Em'

A proposed ban on tobacco would end sales on U.S. military bases and prohibit uniformed soldiers from smoking, even in combat, authorities said. The ban was proposed in a study commissioned by the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, USA Today reported. The study, which recommends phasing out tobacco products during a 5- to 10-year period, said tobacco use impairs military readiness and can cause lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, CNN reported Sunday.While any final decision rests with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, many in uniform would oppose such a ban, said retired Gen. Russel Honore, known for his ever-present cigar when he coordinated military relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. "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," Honore said. One in three U.S. service members uses tobacco, compared with one in five adult Americans overall, the VA said, noting combat veterans are 50 percent more likely to use tobacco than soldiers who haven't seen combat.

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