Guest Blogger – Colleen Haydon, Program Manager, Project UNIFORM (Undoing Nicotine Influence From Our Respected Military)/CYAN
As we all recover from our 4th of July holiday, it’s a good time to reflect upon just what independence means. In my world in military tobacco control, independence means many things and that includes a life free of tobacco. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the role of tobacco in the military. Recently, the Secretary of the Navy (SecNav) announced his intent to prohibit the sale of tobacco on Navy and Marine Corps installations and ships. While the SecNav is taking steps to reduce tobacco use in the military, others are strongly opposing stronger tobacco restrictions.
I have dedicated the last eight years of my professional life to this topic and the connection to independence is clear to me. Tobacco makes one dependent. Tobacco controls lives. Tobacco, when used as directed, can kill you. There is nothing about tobacco that deserves the attention of our nation’s bravest and most valuable members. It has been suggested that military service men and women already put their lives at risk every day as a part of their duties so denying them tobacco is a waste of time.
With all due respect to those who have made these misguided claims, I emphatically disagree and reject your premise.
- First, it is because our nation’s military service men and women are put in harms way on a daily basis that tobacco has no place in that reality. From updated equipment to appropriate training, we do all we can to protect our Service Members from harm to ensure that they survive whatever horrible situation they are put into. Read More