For some, the New Year traditionally begins with a hangover. On Navy submarines, 2011 may begin with nicotine fits, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Back in April, Vice Adm. John Donnelly, the commander of Navy submarine forces, introduced a new policy banning smoking below decks aboard all U.S. Navy submarines. The ban takes effect no later than Dec. 31.
The reason for the ban? Cutting secondhand smoke inside subs.
In an April Navy news release, Donnelly alluded to recent tests that showed “unacceptable levels of secondhand smoke” aboard submerged submarines. “The only way to eliminate risk to our non-smoking Sailors is to stop smoking aboard our submarines,” he said.
The impending ban has already prompted a spate of newspaper articles in Navy towns. In a piece in the Virginian-Pilot, sailors lamented the end of the “smoke pit,” the place where gossip is traded. In Spokane, Wash., the Spokesman-Review profiled the USS Michigan, a Washington-based boat that went smokeless back in July.
The options for the dedicated pack-a-day submariner are limited. The Navy will offer tobacco “cessation programs” as well as nicotine patches and nicotine gum. Drugs like Chantix or Zyban, commonly prescribed to wean smokers off tobacco, are verboten.
Source: The Wall Street Journal