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Navy To Ban Tobacco Sales On Bases And Ships?

Smoking Sailor

Buying a pack of cigarettes on a Navy base or ship may soon be a thing of the past. Navy officials are considering banning the sale of all tobacco products as a way of improving the "culture of fitness" in the service, unnamed Pentagon sources told The Navy Times.

While the Defense Department would not confirm a ban was imminent, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty told the paper...

[T]here have been discussions about tobacco sales, but... no decision has been made.

The Navy has already forbidden the sale of tobacco in its commissaries. And back in 2012, Navy and Marine Corps exchanges were no longer allowed to offer discounts on tobacco products. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wrote in a memo at the time:

“Tobacco use is the most avoidable public health hazard in the Navy and Marine Corps."

As Mabus spokeswoman Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence explained in an email to Stars and Stripes:

“We’ve already taken one step by ending price subsidies for tobacco products, and Secretary Mabus has asked his staff to look at additional ways to improve the health and readiness of our force.<br><br>"We are in the early stages of this process.”
An unnamed defense official told NBC News the ban could go into effect as soon as Oct. 1, 2014.