Smoking Ban for the U.S. Military?

Pentagon health officials are pushing Defense Secretary Robert Gates to ban the use and sale of tobacco products by military personnel, a move which is perhaps indicative of future nanny state regulations for the rest of us.

Fox News reports

U.S. soldiers are trained to handle deadly weapons and smoke out enemies but they may soon find that they aren’t allowed to handle cigarettes and light up a smoke…

Jack Smith, head of the Pentagon’s office of clinical and program policy, told the newspaper that he will advise Gates to adopt proposals by a federal study that cites rising tobacco use and higher costs for the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs as reasons for the ban.

Although the government is within its rights to stipulate this sort of thing as part of soldiers’ employment contracts — which soldiers can turn down in favor of civilian employment if unsatisfactory — that the government would be interested in this kind of regulation at all is concerning.  Who will it regulate next?


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