Friday, July 10, 2009

Big Brother Enters the Pentagon

Apparently it's perfectly okay for our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors to walk into a barrage of flying bullets and RPGs, but not to light up a smoke... And to be told this by a Pentagon that is headed by a CIC THAT SMOKES?!

"...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.

A tobacco ban would confront a military culture, the report says, in which "the image of the battle-weary soldier in fatigues and helmet, fighting for his country, has frequently included his lit cigarette."

Also, the report said, troops worn out by repeated deployments often rely on cigarettes as a "stress reliever." The study found that tobacco use in the military increased after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began..." (source)

I wonder if Jack Smith is a combat veteran...?

Good luck with those reenlistment numbers...

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