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Smoke Signals

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By Dawn Lim

Submarine smokers might want to consider investing in nicotine gum. By the end of this year, the Navy will ban cigarettes on board submarines to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke in those close quarters.

Once a mainstay of military life, cigarette use slowly has been rolled back over the years. According to a June 20 report in The New York Times:

"When America went to war in the past, tobacco went with them and cigarettes were part of military rations. But they are no longer contained in the Meals Ready to Eat field food packages, as the Defense Department does not want to officially encourage smoking. Now that legacy is seen only in the water-resistant matches placed in combat rations and officially defended as a survival tool. (But has anybody in Iraq had to build a campfire lately?)"

Some things, however, aren't changing any time soon. Last summer, Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave troops in high-pressure combat zones assurance that they would still be able to continue puffing away.

 

Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.

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