Smoking permanently out on U.S. Navy submarines
Smoking will be banned on all U.S. Navy submarines, no later than Dec. 31, Navy officials in San Diego announced Thursday.
At the discretion of individual commanders, smoking had been allowed in the engineering space near the ventilation system. But a yearlong Navy study of nine submarines found that nonsmokers were still being subjected to secondhand smoke throughout the crafts.
The Navy has 57 submarines, including six based in San Diego. The submarine force has 13,000 sailors.
To help smoking sailors, the Navy will offer stop-smoking classes at shore stations and will provide nicotine patches and nicotine gum, officials said.
"What we want to discourage is smokers turning to alternative methods of tobacco use such as chewing tobacco," said Capt. Mike Michaud, submarine force Atlantic surgeon.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo; Seawolf-class attack submarine Jimmy Carter. Credit. U.S. Navy