Military Cheap Cigarettes Gone: Bill Ends Tobacco Discount

July 16, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More


Military’s cheap cigarettes days are over. The defense spending bill unveiled by the Senate this week put an end to Military officials and their family members having access to cheap cigarettes. Senators say having a smoke-free military will save the government at least one billion dollars every year and it also means healthier soldiers.

No more cheap cigarettes for the military. The Senate stated that it has decided to eliminate the 25 percent discount on tobacco goods such as loose leaves, cigars, e-cigarettes that military personals and their relatives have benefited from for several years now.

The Chairman of The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee Richard J. Durbin unveiled the approved $549.3 billion defense spending bill on Tuesday that is aiming for a smoke-free military.

Richard J. Durbin, a senior Democrat from Illinois issued a statement explaining that the decision to push for a tobacco-free military is because of the cost of tobacco discounts and the side effects of tobacco on service men’s healths.

The Senate Majority Whip said that the Obama administration is spending $1.6 billion per year on health care for military personnel with tobacco related illnesses.

The head of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government could have cited a study that was published in 2009 by the Institute of Medicine to back his claims.

The research showed that if military personals are banned from smoking they would be healthier and therefore be more alert and have more readiness in war zones.

Soldiers who are non-smokers are less stressed which implies that they can make wiser decisions when faced with life and death situations.

The scientists behind the study asked a valid question, if people in the military are required to pass physical examinations, why are they allowed to smoke and cause damage to their healths.

Everything in Washington is a fight, so it is not surprising that the House version of the bill is against the crackdown of untaxed tobacco products.

House representatives believe smoking is one of the few leisure soldiers have on the battle field and it should remain that way.


Category: Politics

Comments (6)

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  1. LGAmazon says:

    Why does it cost $549 billion to get rid of a discount on cigarettes that will save the government money? What else is in that bill?

    • tk says:

      They didn’t say that would be the cost to get rid of the discount, only that the bill, which is for ALL military spending is $549B. The article doesn’t state how much getting rid of the discount will cost, in fact, it alludes to the fact that not giving the discount will save money.

    • Lgamazon says:

      Never mind, condition of funds being approved…got it.

  2. jdwestman says:

    “Soldiers who are non-smokers are less stressed which implies that they can make wiser decisions when faced with life and death situations.”

    Really….?!!!! I wonder that government officials and politicians are smoking 10 packs a day because I have yet to see them make wiser decisions when faced with life and death situations…..

    • WhistleBerries says:

      When I served in the U.S. Air Force, (1962-1966), I had a very stressful job – controlling interceptor aircraft. All of the officers and airmen smoked. Often, while working with a smoker officer, there would be as many as five or six lit cigarettes going at the same time in the ashtray attached to the radar/computer consoles we were using.

      I smoked so much that I had trouble sleeping, due to the nicotine overload in my system. When a doctor explained that nicotine was worse than heroin, I went on a gradual withdrawal. I stopped smoking for two weeks, then resumed smoking two packs a day for two weeks. Then one pack a day for two weeks. Then, a cigarette less each day until it was one cigarette a day for two weeks. Then, one cigarette every other day, etc. When I finally stopped smoking completely, I was on one cigarette every 8 days.

      I have not smoked for many years, but it calls my name almost every day.

  3. Martin Kaplan says:

    I was in the army from 1966 to 1969. I also served in Vietnam. I never smoked (I saw my dad die at 50 due largely to his inability to quit). Those that smoked paid ridiculously low prices for cigarettes. Alcohol was also extremely inexpensive. I had no idea tax dollars were subsidizing either of these. I thought the companies selling cigarettes and/or alcohol were simply trying to addict as many servicemen to their products as possible.

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