Friday, 27 Nov 2020

Sailors urged to quit smoking as Navy bans cigarettes on ships and bases

SAILORS are being urged to “stub it out” as the Navy bans cigarettes on its ships and bases.

Personnel used to be issued 600 cigs a month — plus a daily rum ration.

But now cigarettes, chewing tobacco and snuff will be forbidden.

Top Brass said it will come into force in June next year — 18 months ahead of the rest of the Armed Forces.

Ex-Navy chief Admiral Lord West said: “Sailors used to leave at 40 and be dead by 50 because they were so hard-living.

“If you smoke 600 cigarettes a month and drink half a bottle of rum every three days, what do you expect?”

The rum ration was ended in 1970 and filterless Blue Liner cigarettes in 1991.

On old diesel-powered submarines, smoking was strictly controlled as it used up oxygen.

Lord West said: “When they would dive for long periods, they weren’t allowed regular smoking. But sometimes there would be a ‘one all round’ and everyone would be allowed one cigarette.”

Smoking is already banned inside ships, submarines and offices. Sailors on bases will only be allowed to light-up in outdoor shelters.

An MoD spokesman said: “Defence has committed to go smoke-free by the end of 2022 to enhance the health and wellbeing of our personnel.

“The Royal Navy is implementing a phased introduction of this commitment.”

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