There’s a new battle brewing over smoking in the military.
Congress and the Defense Department are mulling over a potential ban on selling tobacco products — cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco — on military bases and ships in an effort to curb high smoking rates, but critics argue the move would be unfair to service members who already are making significant sacrifices.
The fight over smoking and the military, which will most likely unfold during the lame-duck congressional session, follows a similar debate playing out in the civilian world, after CVS announced it would stop selling tobacco products in its 7,600 U.S. stores.
The proposal to ban the sale of tobacco products on military bases and ships was first floated by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in March. Shortly after, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a Defense Department-wide review of the issue.
Is there a legal substance that is treated more like something illegal than tobacco? I’ve never been a smoker, but if a man or a woman is willing to put his or her life on the line for the country, they should be allowed a reprieve from the habit scolds.
In the broader sense, we aren’t paying Congress to waste time on issues like this. The world is falling apart and they want to play nanny. From plastic bag bans to nonsense like this, legislators at all levels in America tend to focus on fluff issues to occupy them while the things they should be working on fall into ruin.