Target: Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy
Goal: Ban the sale of tobacco products on Navy bases and ships
The United States Navy may consider banning the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products on Navy bases and ships due to the deleterious health effects of tobacco as well as the costs of treating tobacco-related health problems. We need to encourage the Secretary of the Navy to ban tobacco sales to better protect the health of the men and women currently serving in the Navy.
The adverse health effects of tobacco use are many: emphysema and chronic bronchitis; lung, larynx, and colon cancer; increased risk for strokes and heart attacks; type 2 diabetes mellitus; gum disease and tooth loss; rheumatoid arthritis; and numerous other maladies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarettes cause over “480,000 deaths each year” in America, and more “than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States during its history.” The health of our military personnel is important, and the Secretary of the Navy is responsible for implementing formal naval policies to ensure that our service members adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. A policy banning the sale of tobacco products on Navy bases and ships may indeed help many sailors live healthier lives.
Furthermore, some prominent politicians, including Richard Durbin, D-Ill. and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who support this potential ban on tobacco sales, argue that due to budgetary limitations the Navy should spend its money on essentials instead of on things like “nicotine replacement therapy products” and other health treatments. As harmful as cigarettes are, the health treatment costs are tremendous. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently acknowledged that our nation’s Defense Department spends over one billion dollars each year treating military members for health problems caused by tobacco use alone. A ban on tobacco sales may help allow the Navy to save money and to operate on a tighter budget.
Please sign the petition below to encourage the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to implement a ban on the sale of tobacco products on Navy bases and ships. Doing so will lead to better health and a higher quality of life for thousands of sailors.
Dear Secretary Mabus,
I was happy to hear that you may be considering a ban on the sale of tobacco products on Navy bases and ships. Tobacco use causes numerous life-threatening diseases and maladies, and the treatment costs for these issues can be tremendous. Secretary of Defense Hagel recently acknowledged that the Defense Department spends over a billion dollars a year treating military personnel for health problems caused by tobacco use. A ban on tobacco sales may help many sailors lead healthier lives, at the same time saving the Navy millions of dollars that could be spent elsewhere on more essential resources.
As Secretary of the Navy, it is your responsibility to ensure that members of our naval personnel adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. Please implement a ban on the sale of tobacco products on Navy bases and ships.
[Your Name Here]
Photo by: Edinaldo do Espirito Santo at Wikimedia Commons