Smoke ’em while you got ’em.
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As the Navy considers banning tobacco sales on all bases and ships, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a strong endorsement of the review Monday, and suggested that he would be in favor of a ban.
“I don’t know if there’s anybody in America who still thinks that tobacco is good for you,” Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon in response to a question about the Navy review. “We don’t allow smoking in any of our government buildings. Restaurants, states, [and] municipalities have pretty clear regulations on this. I think in reviewing any options that we have as to whether we in the military through commissaries [or] PXs sell or continue to sell tobacco is something we need to look at. And we are looking at it. And I think we owe it to our people.”
Hagel said that the financial and human costs of tobacco use need to be taken into account. The secretary said that dealing with tobacco-related health issues costs the Defense Department more than a billion dollars a year.