Hagel reviewing military tobacco ban; health care costs over $1B

Hagel: DoD tobacco health care costs over $1B
Hagel: DoD tobacco health care costs over $1B

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says he’s reviewing whether the military should ban tobacco sales and smoking on bases and ships.

This comes after a March 14 Defense Department memo that encourages the services to eliminate tobacco sales and use on military bases.

USA Today reports that it stops short of ordering specific actions.

On Monday, Hagel says the costs associated with tobacco use are just one factor he has to consider.

“The cost, health care costs are astounding, well over a billion dollars, just in the Department of Defense, on tobacco-related illness and health care. Now, the dollars are one thing, but the health of your people, I don’t know if you put a price tag on that,” Hagel said.

USA Today reports that the Navy is moving forward with plans to eliminate tobacco sales on all of its bases and ships.

This would also apply to Marine Corp facilities.

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