Submarines and Smuggling

Two mentions of smoking issues in the April 23 The Week magazine.

In item one, “citing the health risks of secondhand smoke” The Week reported that the US Navy is going to ban smoking below decks on its 71 submarines Dec. 31. The items also states that “about 40 percent of the 13,000 submarine sailors smoke.”

Wow, that’s more than twice the smoking rate in the general population! Could it be the tense boredom of peacetime submarine duty is mitigated by smoking? Seems like the atmosphere could get even more tense and unhealthy if 5,000 submariners are going cold turkey at the same time. Plus, what fills the void?

Also from the April 23 Week: “Rising state and local tobacco taxes are having an unexpected consequence: rampant cigarette smuggling.” Unexpected? Please. Every hearing for an increase in tobacco taxes that I’ve attended has included warnings of increased smuggling.

But it was just The Week making the assumption that the smuggling was unexpected. Surely our lawmakers factored in the increased smuggling when they decided to vote for the often punitive cigarette taxes? Surely they factored in that there would be a lessening of respect for the law in general? Surely they did.

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