Monday, June 21, 2010

Sea Smokes

The Navy is extinguishing the smoking lamp on submarines.

Besides the issues of nicotine fits and second/third hand smoke, the biggest impact will be because the profits on the sales of cigarettes by the submarines' ship's stores went to the boats' Welfare & Rec funds. If you have ever toured a warship and seen the gear in the ship's gym, that stuff was bought from the Welfare & Rec Fund. It was not bought by the taxpayers. Among other things paid for by W&R money were things like the holiday parties and upgrades to the entertainment systems.

Sea smokes were cheap, incredibly cheap, because there was no tax whatsoever assessed when the ships were outside of U.S. waters.

How cheap, you might ask? The sales on military bases and on ships in U.S. waters are already free of state taxes. Once the ships sailed, Federal tobacco taxes were dropped. In the early `80s, the price was about $2.50 and that was per carton (25¢ a pack). By the end of the `80s, they had risen to maybe a dollar or $1.25 a pack; still cheaper than the price ashore.

Cigarettes and canned soda were the two most profitable items sold by the ship's store. As much as not having cigarette butts and ashes to deal with, not to mention the extended lifespan of air filtration and purification equipment that the cigarette ban will bring, I can't imagine that the XOs are going to be too happy about the decreased amount of money that will be going to the Welfare & Rec funds.


Anonymous said...

Ha! Working port and starboard in Combat without smokes....I guess coffee is next.

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

Oh, no. Worring day after day on four hours of sleep a night without coffee?

Yeah, that'd go over well.

Anonymous said...

But, the subs are going co-ed? How are the bubbleheads going to smoke after sex???