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Tobacco Ban For US Military?  
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12428 posts, RR: 37
Posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3019 times:

The Pentagon is looking to ban the sale of cigarettes at US military bases:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/12/military.smoking.ban/index.html

The Pentagon studies suggest that the use of tobacco impairs military readiness and may even cause long term health problems (no, really?)

The proposal hasn't been greeted with complete enthusiasm, with some suggesting that it was a vital stress reliever for troops in combat; said one soldier - "if you take that away, what do you replace it with?"

One question: what about military firing squads? Will they just replace the last cigarette with a nicotine patch?

60 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3017 times:



Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
The proposal hasn't been greeted with complete enthusiasm,

I think that is just being polite. I think this would be as big as Ike desegrating the military, which might have been easier since you didn't have the chemical dependency issues.

Look for this to be quitely pushed to the side.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9911 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3004 times:
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Heard about this earlier today somewhere.

I, for one, would not begrudge a soldier a cigarette or 10.

Whether the military bases should continue selling them? I don't know. Don't know if its in their best interests to promote the habit. But it doesn't bother me.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineGosimeon From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2993 times:

If the US wants to have the best military in the world, they should strive for it to be the fittest, healthiest around. Banning smoking is a good idea. Smoking is basicly the most damaging thing you can do to yourself, bar eating Mac Ds every day or something like that. Smokers can't run as fast, last as long, or think as clearly. Good on the Pentagon for figuring this one out.

Smoking and the army has a poor history really. The tobacco companies used to give them away in the World Wars knowing when the troops came home, they would have an army (literally) of very addicted customers ready to spend alotta army wage on their smokes. It's about time the miltary told Big Tobacco where to go.


User currently offlineHercPPMX From United States of America, joined May 2008, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2956 times:

Yes Tobacco is bad for you, However I don't see this policy ever getting put in place, or even obeyed. You have people who will get shot at, drive over IED's, get mortared, amongst other things. If at the end of the day they want to smoke or have a dip(smokeless) let them. I think this would be a hugh morale problem and would affect peoples choice to stay in the military or not.


C-130; it's a love-hate relationship
User currently offlineOffshoreAir From United States of America, joined May 2009, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2934 times:

What about the costs cigarettes cost tax payers in long-term VA Medical bills later in life? If the military supplies cigarettes for soldiers, who then smoke and get cancer, then have to turn to VA medical care for the rest of their life costing tax payers a lot of money.

Don't get me wrong - I will gladly pay my taxes for any sort of injuries (mental and physical) inflicted on our soldiers - they deserve it, in fact, the deserve the best medical care in the world, but when they decide to do something to themselves that is going to kill them, something involuntary like smoking cigarettes, I don't have much sympathy.



OffshoreAir
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13074 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2928 times:

The US Military has far more important issues as to the health of solders than trying to put in a total ban on smoking. Yes, phase in greater difficultity to purchase on-base tobacco products, put in higher taxes for on-base sales, discourage on-base consumption but don't go for a total prohibition. A total ban will backfire with more costs from disipline, loss of critical personal and losses of revenues critical for certain family programs.

User currently offlineOffshoreAir From United States of America, joined May 2009, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2909 times:



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
The US Military has far more important issues as to the health of solders than trying to put in a total ban on smoking. Yes, phase in greater difficultity to purchase on-base tobacco products, put in higher taxes for on-base sales, discourage on-base consumption but don't go for a total prohibition. A total ban will backfire with more costs from disipline, loss of critical personal and losses of revenues critical for certain family programs.

I didn't think of that..Damn Mondays. Great point though, it shouldn't be totally banned, but I think higher taxes and greater difficulty to purchase would go a long way.



OffshoreAir
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2878 times:
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Quoting OffshoreAir (Reply 5):
What about the costs cigarettes cost tax payers in long-term VA Medical bills later in life? If the military supplies cigarettes for soldiers, who then smoke and get cancer, then have to turn to VA medical care for the rest of their life costing tax payers a lot of money.

Don't get me wrong - I will gladly pay my taxes for any sort of injuries (mental and physical) inflicted on our soldiers - they deserve it, in fact, the deserve the best medical care in the world, but when they decide to do something to themselves that is going to kill them, something involuntary like smoking cigarettes, I don't have much sympathy.

 checkmark  checkmark  checkmark 

Very well said, sir.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
The US Military has far more important issues as to the health of solders than trying to put in a total ban on smoking.

As I understand it, the US Military is running into very significant budget shortfalls. And long-term health care expenses are not insignificant. It is a fact that a smoking ban would greatly reduce the long-term health problems (and expenses) that tobacco use causes. So enacting a smoking ban would in fact save a great many dollars and lives. It would also free a huge amount of money that could be used to improve overall capability and readiness across the board. That qualifies as an "important issue" in my book.

As long as I'm footing the bill to support such a stupid, detrimental and expensive habit, I will fully support such a ban. Yes, the soldiers will have withdrawal issues, but you know what? It's their own doing. Nobody forced them to start smoking. As I said, as long as I'm footing the bill for their self-destructive behavior, they'll just have to deal with it.

2H4



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User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2858 times:



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 8):
As I understand it, the US Military is running into very significant budget shortfalls. And long-term health care expenses are not insignificant. It is a fact that a smoking ban would greatly reduce the long-term health problems (and expenses) that tobacco use causes. So enacting a smoking ban would in fact save a great many dollars and lives. It would also free a huge amount of money that could be used to improve overall capability and readiness across the board. That qualifies as an "important issue" in my book.

Those costs don't come out of the DOD budget. They come out of the VA budget or the Medicare/ Medicaid budgets. Any savings would not put any additional money into the DOD budget.

The past has shown us over and over that when the military finds ways to save money, Congress reduces the DOD budget and puts the money into other programs. DOD does not get a penny to improve cabability or readiness.

If the US military were to 'ban' tobacco - well, they might as well ban alcohol also. Because neither would work, certainly not as well as prohibition did.

The US military could stop sales of tobacco on military bases. Now, I've been retired from the Navy for many years and do not go on military bases often. Having never been a smoker, or dipper - I don't follow tobacco prices on base. (My mother smoked two to three packs a day, my father dipped - turned me off at an early age).

The military exchange, comissary and class six stores which sell tobacco are MWR activities. The original purpose was to provide items to military members and families which were not available locally. In the US, these facilities are often under political pressure to be eliminated so that military members and their families are forced to shop on the civilian market.

Military base facility sales do not pay local city or state sales taxes, nor in my past were local/ state alcohol and tobacco taxes paid.

Many states and local governments now depend on a healthy alcohol and tobacco sales volume to make their budgets. They would love to have tobacco sales, and eventually alcohol sales banned on military bases.

Overseas, this would force troops to buy on the local economy. In some locations, it would subject troops to dealing with local criminal elements to obtain their tobacco.

The sale of these items on military bases provides about $80-90 million dollars according to the CNN article to MWR activities. You can be absolutely certain that Congress will not replace those funds. So you are going to take $80-90 million out of the funds which make military life acceptable/ better for military members and their families at remote bases around the world.

Brilliant - take away their favorite low grade drug and take away their recreation activities.

The US military force is a reflection of US society as a whole.

There are a lot of good reasons to eliminate smoking, dipping and other tobacco uses. And it ain't gonna happen in the US military before it happens in the US general population.


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2846 times:
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Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 9):
Those costs don't come out of the DOD budget. They come out of the VA budget or the Medicare/ Medicaid budgets.

It's all tax dollars to me. In the end, I'm funding a stupid, self-destructive, and expensive habit.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 9):
So you are going to take $80-90 million out of the funds which make military life acceptable/ better for military members and their families at remote bases around the world.

Smoking kills people. It may make military life "acceptable/better for military members and their families" on a very short-term, day-to-day basis, but if you talk to the families of people fighting and dying from cancer and other diseases directly related to smoking, they will not describe life as "acceptable" or "better'. This I assure you.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 9):
Brilliant - take away their favorite low grade drug and take away their recreation activities.

Ok, then for the sake of argument, let's roll with your logic. If introducing a "low grade drug" in fact results in a net benefit....from financial, job performance, and personal well-being standpoints, then why stop at tobacco? If tobacco use in fact, as you imply, creates a better soldier, then by that logic, we should also be providing them with over-the-counter and prescription drugs that make them feel good and are "fun to use".

Because after all, we need to support the local economies around the bases, give them good "hits" to keep stress levels down, and enhance their recreational activities. Even at the cost of lung disease, cancer, and all the related costs and deaths. Right?

I don't mean any disrespect, RF. I hear what you're saying. It would be hugely difficult for our smoking soldiers to adjust to such a change, and it would be a messy process, but I simply don't buy the argument that, when the cost of heath care and lives is taken into account, that tobacco use results in a net benefit to any of us.

2H4



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User currently offlineVega9000 From Portugal, joined Aug 2006, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2840 times:



Quoting Gosimeon (Reply 3):
Smoking is basicly the most damaging thing you can do to yourself, bar eating Mac Ds every day or something like that

I think going into battle beats smoking and McDonald's as the most damaging thing that you can do to your body. Don't you agree?

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 8):
Nobody forced them to start smoking.

Smoking is one of the most formidable stress relievers avaliable, and I can't even imagine the kind of stress levels they endure on a battlefield. If you deny them a smoke, aren't we subjecting them to higher levels of stress in the long run? What are the consequences for the preparedness, let alone the moral? Do we tell them to practise Yoga? In a trench? With the enemy firing at you?
The fact is, smoking can help clear the mind when critical decisions have to be made.

Quoting Gosimeon (Reply 3):
If the US wants to have the best military in the world, they should strive for it to be the fittest, healthiest around.

That's fine if you're talking about Olimpic athletes. But you're not.

Quoting OffshoreAir (Reply 5):
If the military supplies cigarettes for soldiers, who then smoke and get cancer, then have to turn to VA medical care for the rest of their life costing tax payers a lot of money.

I can think of a lot of things far worse on a battlefield that will also give you cancer, and much more than a smoking habit, such as uranium armor. Should we ban that for fear of medical bills?

Denying a soldier a smoke in a war zone...what kind of people are you?



Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2830 times:
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Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 11):
Smoking is one of the most formidable stress relievers avaliable

Not to non-smokers, it isn't.

2H4



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User currently offlineOffshoreAir From United States of America, joined May 2009, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2823 times:



Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 11):
If you deny them a smoke, aren't we subjecting them to higher levels of stress in the long run?

In the long run? No, absolutely not. You may cause the soldiers stress of going through the destructive pattern of withdrawl - but this is a direct result of their choice to being smoking in the first place. And by no means would it be long term - it would actually be very short term.

Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 11):
What are the consequences for the preparedness, let alone the moral? Do we tell them to practise Yoga? In a trench? With the enemy firing at you?
The fact is, smoking can help clear the mind when critical decisions have to be made.

You are being extremely over the top here - no one is suggesting something as extreme as doing yoga in a trench (really? that's what you got out of our statements?) The dose of nicotine is very short lived in the body. To even further this point, when a soldier is in a firing situation or any situation where critical decision need to be made, I guarantee that he is not sitting there going "Gee, I need a cigarette real quick, let me stop and take a few minutes to suck one down" Oh yeah, and caffeine can clear the mind much, MUCH better and for longer durations of time than cigarettes can. Not to mention it is not nearly as addictive and much less harmful.

Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 11):
That's fine if you're talking about Olimpic athletes. But you're not.

Our military stresses our field and combat soldiers to be in peak physical and mental condition, very similar to Olympic athletes. I think it is extremely conter-productive to allow soldiers to smoke cigarettes which cause anything from reduced lung capacity and reduced physical endurance, to death.

Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 11):
I can think of a lot of things far worse on a battlefield that will also give you cancer, and much more than a smoking habit, such as uranium armor. Should we ban that for fear of medical bills?

Yes, but those things on the battle field that are hazardous to a solider's health are out of the soldier's hands - he can't stop that guy from shooting at his head, he can't stop that guy from detonating the IED on the side of the road, hell, he can't even disobey his superior when he is asked to attack a position - but cigarettes? Smoking cigarettes is STRICTLY and single-handedly the decision of the individual soldier - entirely in his own hands.

Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 11):
Denying a soldier a smoke in a war zone...what kind of people are you?

I can see your point here - but if there wasn't an addiction for the soldier to need a cigarette, this would not be an issue, and it would keep our soldiers healthier



OffshoreAir
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1956 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2793 times:

This seems like a complicated issue.

It's hard to ignore that there's a link between smoking and long term health problems. If taxpayers are going to be on the hook for financing these people's health care, then it seems reasonable to not have smokes available on base.

But... I peronally think that all US citizens should have some form of health care provided by the government and in that case I don't really feel comfortable with the government making that same rule for those people.

Tough spot.

I guess that since the military is voluntary, it's reasonable to put this restriction in place (in my opinion). Don't see it happening though.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2771 times:



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 10):
that tobacco use results in a net benefit to any of us.

I didn't indicate that - nor do I believe it.

However, if our nation wants to attack smoking - then we need to start at the top of the problem - our federal tax dollar subsidies to keep farmers producing tobacco at a profit.

Federal, state and local tax breaks to tobacco companies for their plants, their distrubtion facilities, their retail outlets.

Yes, federal medical spending for smoking related illnesses is a very large dollar amount of tax receipts each year. An almost impossible number to quantify because it is hidden in so many different budgets.

However, we also spend a very significant portion of that amount to keep the tobacco industry alive. That is the first place to reclaim your tax dollars.

The US government has structured the Department of Defense MWR system to make it very dependent upon the sale of legal drugs - nicotine and alcohol. If they want that income source removed, then they need to replace it.

My 20 years in the US Navy (1972-1992) saw the transition from smoking in every office and workspace to limitations on smoking areas. Those restrictions have increased since I left active duty. Heck, when I went to high school - almost every school in this nation allowed students to smoke in certain areas.

But as I said above - the military is a reflection of our US society. If we want to ban smoking in the military, it needs to be banned in civilian life first.

No, I do not ever expect a ban on tobacco use to be effective in the US.

I've seen the peer pressure of the young, and the destructiveness of nicotine on people's lives in my own family. From my parents and their sibiling to my daughter, and it's impact upon her children.

But the military will never be able to make a dent in the problem until society considers smoking a problem.

And society in the United States, and almost all other nations, does not consider smoking / tobacco use a real problem.

Yes we have limits upon where people can smoke.

But we still romanticize smoking. We still support smoking through our personal funds when we attend movies, we buy products with ties to tobacco, we buy magazines which advertise tobacco, we support tobacco sales to increase our tax revenue.

We talk a lot about smoking and its problems - but very few people take it as a serious issue. Their behavior proves that they do not.

All I'm saying is that until the people of the United States take tobacco as a serious issue - the US military is not the place to experiment in finding ways to make soldiers 'criminals' for behavior legal in US society.


User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5504 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2760 times:

I'd be curious who here defends smoking in the military that doesn't smoke or those who do smoke that do support a possible ban. To be honest these are the people that can bring the best debate since they are looking at the issue with a more whole perspective.

I for one don't smoke and say ban it. It does not lead to a more effective fighting force, there is not a single soldier who is better for smoking than one that doesn't suffer the addiction of (and therefore withdrawal effects if not) smoking.

Speaking of the effects of withdrawal, how does a soldier deal with nicotine withdrawal when on assignment/combat/patrol? I've seen people after a 5 hour plane flight that are almost wrecks, needing to get a smoke. If there is no nicotine source available, after a few days, how does a soldier deal with it? Does it make him (or her) a less effective soldier?

Tugg

[Edited 2009-07-13 10:49:11]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6603 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2759 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 15):
But as I said above - the military is a reflection of our US society.

Not really. The military has always been a bit different from U.S. society. Historically, the military has actually been a leader in many areas. The U.S. military desegregated its troops long before society desegregated its schools/buses/etc.

As it is now, the military doesn't reflect society as the smoking rate among military members is higher than that of the general population. Of course, that may very well be due to the nature of the militaries job, but nonetheless military members smoking behaviors don't completely reflect society.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 15):
If we want to ban smoking in the military, it needs to be banned in civilian life first.

Using that logic, school teachers should be allowed to smoke in front of children since its not banned in society. Surgeons should be allowed to smoke while operating, since its not banned in society. Your logic is faulty.


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2742 times:

Its amazing on how many people here want to tell others what to do. I am a non smoker, tried it just never took hold, but I am not going to be a fanatict a purge the military of smokers. How many people here have been in a situation similar to a soldiers, now issue a order to ban smoking. Lets see we have a soldier/marine in combat nerves on edge going through nicotine withdrawal,nice.
This ban smoking crowd is probably the same one that wants to legalize pot. Before a military smoking ban there should be a civilian smoking ban, not until then. We don't allow military to drink under 21 unless overseas just like their civilian counterparts do we.



I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2720 times:



Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 17):
Not really. The military has always been a bit different from U.S. society.

Perhaps you should tell this to the generals, admirals and other professionals who lead the military. Who have to deal with the process of turning raw recruits into soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

There are still two very different groups which make up the US military - the short term and the long term soldiers.

I will agree that the lifers tend to be a more conservative group - I should know - I was one. However, because they are much younger than their counterparts in the civilian world, they are also more attuned to technology, the young and of course - what is happening in the world outside the borders of the United States. Most senior military people are under age 50 and the number over age 60 is a miniscule percentage. The average career soldier retires before age 45.

If I were still in uniform at age 56, and 37 years continious active service - I would be a unique relic. In the civilian world, I'm merely one of the older folks in a high tech field. I am a bit unusual because my average job lasts about 8 years before I move, but not because of my age.

The short term 'kids' are very much like their civilian counterparts. From their tastes in music, food, recreation, politics. They have more discipline than many of their civilian counterparts - but not more than all. These teenagers and 20 year olds make up the vast majority of people in uniform.

We do see a lot recently about reservists - and they are an older group. But the reservist are focused in only a small part of the active military today. Their role is the largest since Korea, but they are not the dominante military community.

There are a lot of civilians, a majority of young late teens and early 20's, in this country who show much the same discipline, drive and focus as their counterparts in uniform.

We don't hear much about them in the media because they are not 'colorful'. Because they do the right things with their life.

Perhaps the biggest difference is those in uniform tend to be more aware of the wide world and their personal potential role in that world.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 17):
the military doesn't reflect society as the smoking rate among military members is higher than that of the general population.

I would like to see some numbers - especially comparisons of identical age groups. My experience is that older military members tend to smoke more than a similar the civilian population. Youngsters seem to be about the same percentage.

I am greatly dismayed to see what appears to be a growing percentage of kids coming out of high school and college smoking. Especially females. The perception of smoking as an effective appetite suppressant among young girls is growing.


User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9911 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2708 times:
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Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 15):
All I'm saying is that until the people of the United States take tobacco as a serious issue - the US military is not the place to experiment in finding ways to make soldiers 'criminals' for behavior legal in US society.

We've already done that to a certain extent with "Don't Ask Don't Tell", haven't we?

Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 11):
Smoking is one of the most formidable stress relievers avaliable, and I can't even imagine the kind of stress levels they endure on a battlefield. If you deny them a smoke, aren't we subjecting them to higher levels of stress in the long run? What are the consequences for the preparedness, let alone the moral? Do we tell them to practise Yoga? In a trench? With the enemy firing at you?
The fact is, smoking can help clear the mind when critical decisions have to be made.

Far as I know, smoking does not actually lower stress. It might make smokers feel like they have less stress. But in the same way that alcohol does not actually make you warm, I don't think smoking lowers your stress.

A non-smoker would very likely never think smoking a cigarette would lower your stress. After all, the last thing you want when you're stressed out is to increase your heart rate, lower your blood's oxygen content, increase your blood pressure, etc....

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 18):
This ban smoking crowd is probably the same one that wants to legalize pot.

Extremely confused by your reasoning here.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineWindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2719 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2701 times:



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 8):
As long as I'm footing the bill to support such a stupid, detrimental and expensive habit, I will fully support such a ban. Yes, the soldiers will have withdrawal issues, but you know what? It's their own doing. Nobody forced them to start smoking



Quoting OffshoreAir (Reply 5):
Don't get me wrong - I will gladly pay my taxes for any sort of injuries (mental and physical) inflicted on our soldiers - they deserve it, in fact, the deserve the best medical care in the world, but when they decide to do something to themselves that is going to kill them

As a long time member of the Military I think they should ban the products.


This fits right in with the National healtcare debate. Why should someone who does not smoke or chew tobacco or abuse alchohol have to pay higher premiums or the same premiums as smokers. If you choose to do these things you should have a far higher premium or be denied on your claims for anything resulting from the use. Same goes for weight issues. You want to lower healthcare costs across the board including the VA then ban these products or deny benefits if you use them.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5504 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2693 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
I would like to see some numbers - especially comparisons of identical age groups. My experience is that older military members tend to smoke more than a similar the civilian population. Youngsters seem to be about the same percentage.

Here's the best I could find quickly:

For teh general US population:

Quote:
Thirty percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 26% of those 30 to 49 say they had a cigarette in the past week. This contrasts with only 17% of those 50 to 64 and 9% of those 65 and older.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/109048/us...moking-rate-still-coming-down.aspx
For the military:

Quote:
In 2005, 32 percent of active-duty personnel and 22 percent of veterans were smokers; rates among active-duty personnel have recently increased, possibly because of growing tobacco use by deployed troops.

http://www.medilexicon.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=155644

So it does appear to be fairly close for data that does not match up exactly.

It was also stated that smoking rates for military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan may be 50 percent higher than rates among non-deployed military.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offline7324ever From Serbia, joined May 2009, 563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2691 times:

If that's the case then prisoners get more rights than the nations finest. They let them buy and some cigarettes. so its kind of pointless.


Anything the US and EU build the Russians do it better! i.e. TU-144 vs Concorde and TU-154 vs The 727...
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 24, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2659 times:



Quoting Tugger (Reply 22):
It was also stated that smoking rates for military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan may be 50 percent higher than rates among non-deployed military.

I don't know about 50% but higher rates do match my personal experience. I'm also sure alcohol usage to excess and illegal drugs rates of usage are significantly higher.

A combat environment is a easy place to seek something to calm the nerves, and the way most of these work, easily to become dependent upon that relief.


25 2H4 : By opposing a military smoking ban, and by presenting arguments that support the sale and use of cigarettes, you seem to be of the opinion that the b
26 OffshoreAir : This is an extremely valid point. I do not think our military is a reflection of a society - it is the arm of our government used to protect the citi
27 7324ever : I absolutely agree with you 1000%. I was just saying that they should ban them for prisoners before the military and I could see why they would want
28 Windy95 : Great post 2H4. At what point do the people who avoid these bad habits stop supporting those who do?
29 Flighty : What soldiers do on their own time is probably none of our business. You fund a paycheck and, as Americans, they can spend it how they wish. I agree
30 Kingairta : I'm all for it. Bring on the ban. But it has to be in baby steps. The first step has already started with no smoking in buildings. step 2 would be to
31 Tugger : Wouldn't Vicodin be better for that? I have a friend who did the same (cigarettes) so as to get a break as well. Saw all the other guys getting a smo
32 Vega9000 : First of all, let me admit here that I smoke (not cigarettes though), so I'm playing Devil's advocate in a western society that is moving in big steps
33 Post contains links UAL777 : Absolutely not! Vicodin can be addictive and carries side effects such as: "Side effects for Vicodin are most commonly upset stomach, nausea, and alt
34 Post contains images Tugger : Who knew smoking was so good for you?    Also you double posted the side effects of Vicodin. I was saying it mostly tongue in cheek but actually th
35 Windy95 : I work in a highly stressful job abd spent many years in the military stressed out yet i never had to smoke. Stop making excuses for weak people beca
36 OffshoreAir : No, there needs to be responsibility here. Just because they want to be self-destructive and do something extremely hazardous to their health on thei
37 Dragon6172 : Funny you should mention that, because there are McDonalds and other fast food joints on just about every base. In Iraq, there was a Burger King, Piz
38 Zkpilot : Smoking gives the impression of relieving stress, when in actual fact over the long run it actually increases stress (along with all the other side e
39 Blackbird : Truthfully I think this is going to result in a LOT of people leaving the armed forces... As for medical bills, we spend so much money on weapons syst
40 OffshoreAir : Really? Are you saying snuff (snus) doesn't cause cancer?
41 Ual777 : That was taken from a study done by the FAA by the way. I have never seen someone get seizures, clammy skin, hallucinations, severe weakness, dizzine
42 Dragon6172 : FDA you mean?
43 Vikkyvik : Taking a single Vicodin and having a smoking addiction are two totally different things as well. An addiction, whether to Vicodin or cigarettes, is m
44 Ual777 : No, the FAA has done multiple studies on the effects of tobacco use on pilots.
45 DeltaMD11 : Well, I'll offer my perspective on this looking through the lens as an officer in the United States Army. While I would generally agree that tobacco u
46 Blackbird : OffshoreAir, Snus is not the same as Snuff...
47 DocLightning : As anti-smoking as I am, I do not support a ban on tobacco. I believe in free choice and free will and I do not believe that it should be the military
48 OffshoreAir : Oh I understand that. But Snus is still a carcinogen that causes cancer. In fact, it has been BANNED in the European Union because of the cancer it c
49 Vega9000 : Thank you. That was precisely my point.
50 2H4 : Those soldiers would be more effective if they didn't have the dependency in the first place. Particularly when they run out of cigarettes and must p
51 DocLightning : It's an interesting philosophy, because its boundaries are very fuzzy. For example, if I really am craving a Big Mac today, should I not be allowed t
52 GDB : Nice to see they are focusing on real combat issues! It of course would be better if they did not smoke, however I doubt that with troops battle harde
53 Vega9000 : I would add even more. If that's the deciding factor in wanting to ban other adult's life choices, then should we ban, for example: - Sports cars - h
54 DeltaMD11 : You would have to make an assumption with this statement that tobacco is hard to get down-range or back home for this idea to be valid because you're
55 Vikkyvik : I actually agree with your post, which is one reason why I don't think they should ban soldiers from smoking at all. However, I don't have a problem
56 Kingairta : A friend of mine a flight engineer on the C-130 was told no more motorcycles of any kind after his third accident grounded him for six months. Plus t
57 Post contains links RFields5421 : In response to the study in the OP - Secretary of Defense Gates has said there will be no ban on smoking/ tobacco in the US military http://www.cnn.co
58 Vega9000 : That settles it then. Thank you gentlemen for an interesting discussion.
59 Dragon6172 : Sec. Gates said he would not ban smoking for troops in combat zones. He did not say he was against the ban all together.
60 Venus6971 : Good thats settled can we now start fighting the war again by killing these 7th century jackasses.
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