As a personal injury attorney in Chicago who has seen many incidents of the harm smoking can cause, I am pleased with the action taken by the Navy. Under new policy, “thousands of sailors who spend weeks underwater on Navy submarines will have to quit smoking now that the military plans to ban the habit on all subs.” (Ross Bynum, AP 5/2).
The Navy estimates just over 5,000 sailors smoke aboard subs, some smoke a pack a day, others just the occasional cigar. All will have to abandon the habit before the prohibition takes effect on Dec. 31, 2010.
This policy is consistent with much of the remainder of military units, as the military banned most indoor smoking in 1994. Submarines, however, were exempted because sailors serve long tours underwater with few creature comforts. The policy is in the best health interest of sailors, although it may initially be a challenging undertaking.