A recently made public study funded by the Pentagon and Veteran’s affairs Department suggested prohibiting smoking completely by all U.S. troops including active soldiers, taking part in combats. The introduced ban recommends gradual withdrawing of smoking to a point that in a decade no smoking would be permitted across military property.
According to current legislation, smoking is prohibited only in enclosed military buildings and in times of trainings. However, the good news for smoking soldiers is that the Pentagon officials admitted they have no intention to ban smoking completely, but will only promote a tobacco-free lifestyle among troops.
The cause for the suggested ban on puffing seems good and reasonable, since it would permit to decrease the expenses on treating smoking-related diseases among the troops. Each third actively-serving smoker is a regular smoker, what costs the budget more than $1.5 billion annually. This sum does not include the expenses on treating veterans from illnesses caused by smoking. So, the proposal to make the troops smoke-free makes sense. However, there is another side of the coin, saying that not each wise plan should be implemented in several conditions.
Among such condition is at least living in the nearest proximity to combat zone, or taking part in those combats. Those scientists would never even dare to imagine how much stress; horror and shock make an essential part of a soldier’s life. They don’t know anything about living with a constant waiting mortal danger to come from every corner. So, in case smoking helps soldiers to calm their nerves, and distract from the horrible things they see and experience at battlefields, I will be in favor of giving them the right to decide whether to smoke or not.
As it was proven that any surgery should not be done if possible, since cutting one part of the body brings terrible damage to the whole body, so it is in the case of smoking. Of course, soldiers should not smoke, but if lighting up helps them to relax during the most difficult and tense moments of the combat, the Pentagon should permit them to smoke.
The Pentagon authorities should better implement less rigorous measures, instead of imposing a comprehensive ban on smoking. It would be a much wiser idea from scientist to develop special programs, educating new-coming soldiers on the ways to cope with stress without tobacco. Moreover, they can make tobacco more expensive, as it is in case of remaining part of the nation. If cigarettes cost on the military properties would be equal to that in conventional cigarettes stores around the country, it would help reducing smoking rates dramatically, reducing the number of smokers in troops to those who indeed need it.
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