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Readers Respond: Should the Military Ban Smoking?

Responses: 86


From the article: A Smoke-Free Military?
The Institute of Medicine has released a report urging the Department of Defense to announce a mandatory date when smoking will no longer be allowed in the military.

Make them pay a healthcare penalty

It would be fair to charge the military a fee identical to the civilian Obamacare tobacco use penalty. That would be 50% of the cost of a mid-range Obamacare health plan for their age, deducted from their take home pay every month. I figure the mid range health plan is reasonable to compute their costs because though they have zero in out of pocket expenditures (most comparable to the highest tier civilian Obamacare plan but better), they have quite limited choices in provider locations. When they are honorably discharged, charge the same fee out of their pension, if they choose to remain tobacco users and elect to use the existing free for life healthcare provided by the taxpayers to them at any point in their lifetime. I also agree that obese people should be charged for being obese.

Agree to a certain LIMIT

I do agree to all of the other responses, there all great responses an ideas, but i have been smoking since i was 16yrs,mostly (weed) as i am from the virgin islands lol,ya mon, seriously tho i dont think they should ban the use of tobacco unless they plan to make weed legal, which i never heard of anyone crashing or dying from infact i see alot better, they should really think about that, but some poeple use tobacco as a way to calm themselves down when feeling stressed like me an its the only time i smoke tobacco, but i think they should just limit where u can smoke, instead of controlling whats left of the soldiers lives,i mean they are fighting for freedom an putting there lives online , so why take what little enjoyable piece of life they have,and oh yeah did'nt they sign on known the risk of dyin in the first place. if they want to save these soldiers lives maybe they should bring them back home where they belong instead of blowing an s since there so concerned about saving lives
—Guest isaac

Why should we pay?

I do believe that the military branches should be smoke free. It's counter productive and expensive. I don't know that the military will ever be tabacco free but if people do decide to continue smoking or chewing medical benefits should not be covered for tabacco related illnesses. Yep, that's right, if you get cancer from smoking or dipping you'll have to pay for that yourself. I think it's only fair. You make a conscience decision to do something that makes you sick then be responsible for what happens and don't expect someone else to foot the bill.


Sure try it and don't cry when people start needing more meds because they get angry, fight or drink more. Did they factor in that a much higher amount of people smoke on deployments? What about first banning obesity in the civilian population? LOL never thought of that. I know you don't just wake up one day and can't fit through the door. Military people are held to a very high physical fitness while most of the civilian counterparts grow wider (or enormous). I'm sure that treating tens of millions of civilians for chronic obesity is more expensive healthcare wise than a 1-2 million for smoking.
—Guest Derz

Jr Vice Commander

Smoking should be restricted to designated areas only. Never where food or drink is served
—Guest Richard

Try this..

I am a Soldier of over 12 years. I have been smoking for over 22 years. And although I am a smoker I feel it would be beneficial to everyone that smoking be banned and the that it stop being produced. There is no reason the fields the crops are grown in can't be turned into fields where vegetables can be grown to help feed the population. I believe if the option was not there then nobody would want to smoke. Look at the research that has already been conducted and you could imagine how many hospital beds are being used by those with some affliction caused by tobacco. Those beds could be used instead by the Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Navy personnel who are injured from other things. Too much time is wasted smoking and too many people have been removed from service because their dedication to smoking outweighs their dedication to fitness. Start with the country and the Armed forces would HAVE to follow suit because we abide by the same laws...


Why dont they focus on more important things like: why the hell are we spending millions on dumbass Iraqi's and not in our own people? oh well i least i get to keep my chew =)
—Guest Luis

yes ban it!!

the military should most definately ban smoking or any tobacco use in the military. my fiance is a soldier and started chewing tobacco after basic training. its discgusting and the health risks are too much!!! if they bleed heavier, what happens if they get shot? theyre screwed!! if they bleed longer especially after surgery, what are we to do if we have a large amount of casualties and we need our boys 2 heal and get back in the dang field?! thank you.
—Guest danielle

It depends

Is the problem with members of the Military being smokers, or that the price of medical bills because of smoking is too much? Instead of banning smoking, you could say " We're not paying for any medical bills caused by smoking." Smokers not just in the Military know that it is extremely unhealthy to smoke, and yet smoke anyway because it is their choice. It is their choice! But it is our choice if we should pay the medical bills for it, and it just costs too much to be maintained. With all the reasons out there to not smoke, some people choose to smoke anyway with the reasoning that "it is my body and I can mess it up all I want." Well you can! But don't expect the taxpayers to fix it for you.
—Guest Cadet

Yeah, that's gonna work...

No matter what approach you take, you're never going to get military personnel to stop smoking. I don't smoke and think that smokers should quit, but I'm not nieve enough to think it's actually going to happen. Everyone's going to die... some are just going to do it creatively. Ban smoking in the military?... yeah, that's going to work... when it snows in Jamaica
—Guest Wes

F @$ NO

Where does infringing on our personal freedoms start and end!!! If you don't like smoking then don't do it! Don't rattle the cage of the monsters that kill your nightmares!!!
—Guest ; )

Why not?

Yeah! And while we're at it, let's ban swearing too. That's bad and unproductive. Or how about bacon. It's too greasy and it can cause heart attacks, ewww! OMG, we shouldn't have beer either or anything that could be considered fun. Yucky things should be banned!
—Guest James

Reason to smoke.

People might start smoking after basic because the just turned 18 and can now buy tobacco. I know some of you might say thats not true but thats how it was for me and many others I know. Now that I'm old enough to try tobacco I think I'll give it a try. I smoke on and off. Not that I need to but cause I want to. To take it away would make things harder on us. We enjoy it. Again you might say it effects how we work but thats not really true. If I can't run it's because I do try to get better on my own. I would blame tobacco as a way to make it look like it's not my fault. So let them smoke cause if you take it away where does it stop. Next will be alcohol, fast food, soda, and so on.
—Guest Pete

Military Smoking Poem

You don't know me and I don't know you, I put on the nations uniform even though you decide not to. I might have taken a bullet even dodged a flying grenade, I was fighting for your rights so you wouldn't face the blade so now i am back home I served with no regret so please don't look down on me because of a cigarette The things that i live thru would surely make you shake and my nerves are a little shaky my hands, they tend to quake I respect your rights just as i did before please remember i have them too don't turn and slam the door you don't know me and i don't know you please keep my rights ]just not under your shoe Jeff, US Army veteran 312th MI Ft. Hood, Tx
—Guest Jeff

excellent idea

I think of the years I spent picking up other people's cigarette butts, and the countless hours I spent working while the smokers were taking their smoke breaks, and I say it's about time they banned smoking in the military. Treat cigarettes just like beer...help yourself on your off-duty hours, but keep it out of the work place. The rules too hard to follow? Go work elsewhere.

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