Navy and Marines to extinguish the smoking lamp aboard ship?

The expression, "the smoking lamp is lighted," is older than the United States of America. It is the word that is "passed" when it is all right to light up a cigarette, pipe or stogie. When it's time to stop smoking (e.g. during the loading of ammunition), the word is "the smoking lamp is out.

Now the Navy is moving to end the "epidemic" of smoking in the ranks of the Navy and Marine Corps.  This makes the smoking police very happy, witness the press release from the American Lung Association. It said,

“The American Lung Association commends Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus for taking important steps to confront the military’s tobacco epidemic.  The 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative will help Sailors and Marines quit tobacco, promote tobacco-free environments and put in place environmental changes that will reduce tobacco use throughout the Navy and Marine Corps.  This is an unprecedented investment in the comprehensive health of Sailors, Marines and their families.

I can see it now: You have to go out on deck to grab a smoke because everywhere inside the ship will be declared a "smoke-free" environment. I'm no longer a smoker, but I--as a former Navy officer--can't imagine a smokeless ship. Or forcing the smokers onto the weather deck during a gale.

Here's the association's full press release:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                Contact: Mike Townsend

March 5, 2012                                                                             202-715-3450

mike.townsend@lung.org

 

American Lung Association Lauds New Health Initiative,

Encourages Tobacco-free Culture in Navy and Marine Corps

 

Statement of Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association

 

WASHINGTON—“The American Lung Association commends Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus for taking important steps to confront the military’s tobacco epidemic.  The 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative will help Sailors and Marines quit tobacco, promote tobacco-free environments and put in place environmental changes that will reduce tobacco use throughout the Navy and Marine Corps.  This is an unprecedented investment in the comprehensive health of Sailors, Marines and their families.

 

“To its great credit, the leadership of the Navy and Marine Corps has recognized this issue and is calling ‘all hands on deck’ to change the status quo and overcome the self-defeating culture of heavy tobacco use.  We laud the efforts of Navy and Marine Corps leaders on this front and look forward to a future in which all tobacco products are dishonorably discharged from the Sea Services.

 

“This initiative smartly incorporates aspects of the recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2009 to implement a systematic approach to denormalizing and eliminating tobacco use by members of the U.S. armed services.

 

“It is our hope that the Department of the Navy will continue to press forward and further implement the IOM’s broad range of recommendations to develop and enforce a timeline for achieving complete tobacco-free status, recognizing that smokeless tobacco products—which the tobacco industry is now pushing even more aggressively—sustain addiction to nicotine.

 

“Tobacco use is a significant problem in the U.S. military.  Evidence shows that it drastically compromises troop readiness, and it imposes high healthcare costs on the Department of Defense and Veterans' Administration.

 

“Today’s actions by Secretary Mabus are an important step in the right direction for the protection of America’s Sailors and Marines.”

 

Comments

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  • I hear ya, Dennis. But this is a tough call. In the end, (no pun intended) I think if it can save even one person from the agony of dying from lung cancer, it is worth it. But I hear ya, sir. I know what you mean.

  • fb_avatar

    As a former smoker now as asthmatic, I have been asking the military exchanges to stop encouraging smoking by young military folks by tobaccomproducts at reduced costs. I am beyond delighted at any and all changes within the military and elsewhere to thwart unnecessary physical and emotional hardships brought on by cigarettes.

  • fb_avatar

    It is important to promote being healthy and also promote the risks of smoking.

    However having said that, we don't want to force anyone to quit, else it will never be a lifetime change.

    Education is the key, to the point where it is their own decision to give up smoking.

    Gail xx
    www.ReviewSmoking.com

  • Let's be clear on something. No one is forcing anyone to smoke on the weather deck in gale force winds. The individual has the freedom not to smoke on the deck if the weather conditions suggest that. What is paramount here is a change in policy that will no longer allow someone who chooses to still use a product that is proven to be lethal, although still legal at this time, to force harm to others around this person.

    This policy is another step in the de-normalization of smoking that has plagued our military for decades due to the support of the armed forces high command.

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