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At midnight, U.S. submarines to go smokeless

A Navy tradition will end at midnight.

By order of the Navy's top admiral, smoking will no longer be allowed on submarines. The smoking lamp will be no more.

A study convinced Navy brass that nonsmokers were being subjected to too much secondhand smoke despite onboard air purification systems.

The change was announced in April -- time for sailors in San Diego and at other submarine bases to take smoking-cessation classes or get nicotine gum or patches. The Navy estimates that 40% of its submariners are smokers.

"We push our crew every day, 12 to 18 hours a day," said Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Robert McCombs, engineering department boss on the ballistic sub Rhode Island. "Smoking is how they relax. Some people are saying they don't want to stay on subs because they can't smoke."

-- Tony Perry in San Diego



Comments () | Archives (14)

To the Navy Master mentioned in the article: Surely the Navy can find more healthful ways for submariners to relax than to encourage nicotine addiction.

No matter what some folks believe, smoking is not good for anyone.....especially on a US Navy sub.....My own limited experience was hitching a ride on the USS Blackfin (SS-322) back in the early 1960's at Pearl....We did it as part of an informal program where DD ASW teams could see how "The other half" lived and escaped the DDs. Although we allowed smoking on my DL, double watchs in CIC got to be pretty foggy if enough of the watch team was puffing away...
We had an open bridge, smoking up there was fine, although it was pretty tough using the leather mitterns which covered the wool gloves we wore up "North." More than once
I singed leather when trying to keep my A&C Grenadier lit and conn the ship in formation.....There's a little bit of tongue and cheek here, but it was fun to recall some great times back then.....BZ to all men and women deployed and serving our country.......

Smoking raises the heart rate, increases blood pressure and cuases agitation. It is not a relaxant by any empirical formula. The military is so far behind the times and science. That is why they still do not allow gays in the US military, it's based upon bias not real facts.

Smoking is horrible. Agreed. Gives little benefit and causes terrible damage to the smoker and those regularly exposed to the smoke. No argument. But consider this: 40% of the crews of these submarines are all going to be jumping out of their skin at the same time from nicotine fits. I'm not sure if anyone understands the severity of nicotine withdrawal, but one of the reasons smoking is so horrible is because it is so addictive. As someone who has been addicted to Meth, Crack and alchohol, I can tell you, cigarettes are the hardest to quit. But more to the point, the effects of withdrawal can be just as debilitating. Headaches, nervousness, impaired motor function, irritability and lack of concentration can all result from nicotine withdrawal. Now, its great that less people will be smoking, but does this sound like the description of a competent submarine crew?

Geez, just crack a window

I served in submarines during the 60s. Qualified in 1968. The boat ran on cigarettes and coffee. Thinking back on it, all that smoke was truly nuts. But then, I think one has to be a bit nuts to serve on submarines. Still, they were great times. Cigarettes, coffee and all. Dive. Dive.

E cigarettes anyone !

to the folks who say smoking is bad etc etc...Until you serve on a boat for 6 months or a year at time, plz do no comment.

I'll teach you all how to knit. I never smoked but knitting relaxes me.

Really? Who cares if they smoke. Let them, its a tough ass job and with crappy pay. I don't know any hippy from California who would give up their Vegan eating, Prius driving life style to take up arms and work in the tight quarters of a Submarine.
So, let them smoke, hell we shouldn't baby these guys, they are... as I said before... doing a tough job.

E Cigarettes anyone ?

You can SMOKE on a submarine????

I smoked on an aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, when it was a brand new ship (it still had that "new aircraft carrier" smell). Smoking was done in self defense; if you didn't smoke, you were anyway from second-hand smoke. Smoking was allowed only "indoors," never outside on the flight deck. The ship really stunk. Glad to see the Navy getting the message about what smelly things cigarettes are. (By the way, on the ship I bought cartons of cigarettes for one dollar.)

Having a smoking section on a submarine is like having a peeing section in a pool.


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