DoD to Smokers: Cough Up

November 1, 1996

DoD to Smokers: Cough Up

Smokers in the military will be coughing up extra money for cigarettes starting today. The price of cartons of brand name cigarettes at supermarkets on military bases is jumping 35 percent, from $11.50 to $15.50.

The Pentagon initiated the price increase to discourage tobacco use among military personnel. Members of the House National Security Committee have objected, saying the new policy violates the Pentagon's pricing rules. Military commissaries are forbidden by law from making a profit on the goods they sell.

The House committee's Subcommittee on Military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation may challenge the Pentagon's decision when Congress reconvenes.

The military sells $450 million of tobacco products a year at its commissaries. About 32 percent of military personnel smoke, according to a 1995 Pentagon study. About 25 percent of all adult Americans smoke.

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