Navy bans smoking on submarines

Monday - 1/3/2011, 3:29pm EST

Until the start of the new year, smoking was still allowed below deck on Navy submarines. But the Navy announced last spring that it wanted to ban smoking on all subs.

The reason was simply to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke.

Vice Admiral John Donnelly, commander of Submarine Forces for the Navy, cited tests on secondhand smoking when making the announcement, Defense.gov reports. Donnelly says the only way to eliminate the risk to non-smoking sailors is to ban all smoking on subs.

The Navy says about 40 percent of sailors on subs smoke and recognizes it is going to be very difficult for many of them to quit while they're deployed.

So the Navy is offering a program to help sailors kick the habit, issuing nicotine gum and patches.

The Navy has also taken steps to make smoking harder to do. It has limited the length of time sailors have to smoke and limited the number of them that are allowed into smoking areas at one time.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.