Military's tobacco discount: Up in smokeJuly 15, 2014 @ 9:24 am
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The familiar image of a battle-hardened member of the military smoking a cigarette may become a little less common.
The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee on Tuesday approved a $549.3 billion defense spending bill that would eliminate the 25 percent discount that members of the armed services enjoy when buying tobacco products at commissaries and elsewhere, including cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the subcommittee, said studies show that tobacco use is higher in the military. He said that translates into more illnesses and health care costs of $1.6 billion a year.
"There is no reason these deadly products are subsidized," Durbin said.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she was surprised that the subsidy was so high.
The defense bill for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 would do away with the discount.
The move is controversial and certain to generate disagreements in Congress.
The House version of the defense policy bill would thwart any Navy efforts to restrict access to tobacco. In May, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., described smoking as one of the few pleasures for a member of the military, and he easily convinced his colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to back his measure.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Groundskeeping crews at Safeco Field are taking a backseat to Beyonce and Jay Z
Waiting for Marshawn
Why Danny O'Neil doesn't expect to see Marshawn Lynch before September
Time for Takeoff
Get to know the Blue Angels as they arrive for Seafair today
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.