The US Navy has embraced smokeless cigarettes and is now permitting their use onboard aircraft carriers
Gone are the days when those serving in the military were given cigarettes when they were overseas fighting wars (cigarettes used to be included in a soldier’s daily rations). Now due to rising health costs that stem from consuming tobacco products, there have been efforts to curb smoking in the military. Until recently, however, the military has not taken a stance one way or the other about smokeless cigarettes.
While the Air Force is including the devices in their no smoking policy, the U.S. Navy is beginning to allow sailors to use smokeless cigarettes onboard ships. Recently, the USS George Washington became one of the first aircraft carriers to permit sailors to vape on deck. Sailors have been offered a ‘smoke deck’ that is solely for e-smoking—they still are not permitted to vape anywhere they’d like.
Before making the decision to allow sailors to use smokeless cigarettes on board aircraft carriers, researchers made sure that there was enough demand and desire for an e-smoking deck before unveiling it.
Having a separate vaping deck will give sailors who enjoy e-smoking a social atmosphere with like-minded, vaping sailors. The creation of a designated e-smoking deck however does not mean that sailors would not be permitted to use their smokeless cigarettes on the traditional smoking deck.
When leaders decided to add an e-smoking deck to the USS George Washington, it was not their goal to promote or prohibit smoking; rather, they wanted to provide sailors with the tools they need to perform their work.
The changes made onboard the George Washington seem to be having a positive effect on those onboard. If these results continue, it is only logical that some of the Navy’s other aircraft carriers will begin providing separate vaping spaces for their sailors as well.