The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is considering a phased-in five-to-10 year plan to halt all tobacco sales on military bases. This ban would outlaw smoking by anyone in uniform, including battlefield soldiers.
The Pentagon, which aims for a tobacco-free military, officially banned smoking on military bases several years ago.
The policy resulted from a government report claiming that the U.S. military loses nearly $850 million annually from smoking-related illness and reduced productivity. The DOD's Institute of Medicine and the Department of Veterans Affairs has endorsed the plan.
Statistically, the report claims that one-third (33%) of active duty U.S. military personnel are smokers, compared with 20% of civilians. Each year, the sales of tobacco products on U.S. military bases generate up to $90 million. These revenues help fund recreation and family support activities for military families. There is no word on how to compensate for the shortfall.