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Defense Secretary 'Looking' at Banning Tobacco Sales at Military Installations

7:07 AM, Apr 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is "looking" at banning the sale of tobacco at military installations. According to one military publication, Hagel appears to support it.

"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," reports Stars and Stripes.

“I don’t know if there’s anybody in America who still thinks that tobacco is good for you,” Stars and Stripes quotes Hagel as saying. “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.

“Now the dollars are one thing. But the health of your people — I don’t know if you put a price tag on that. So I think it does need to be looked at and reviewed,” Hagel said.

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