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October 25, 2012
Working to break the habit
CMDR Fenn Kemp
A NEW initiative will be introduced
early next year to encourage Navy
members to give up smoking.
Navy will no longer provide
access to cheap tobacco products
aboard its seagoing vessels.
Tobacco smoking is the largest
single preventative cause of death
and disease in Australia.
Navy crews have had access to
cheap tobacco products since the
mid 1930s when the Excise Act was
amended to align the RAN with a
similar concession available in the
Royal Navy at the time.
Over the years, successive
Commonwealth governments have
put measures in place in order to
minimise the public risks associated
with smoking and encourage people
Many will remember chang-
es introduced by the Government
which resulted in limitations to
smoking on board ships.
Most recently, further legislation
was passed which introduced the
world's first plain packaging laws
for tobacco products.
Measures to reduce the amount
of duty free cigarettes and tobacco
that people are allowed to bring into
Australia were also introduced last
CN VADM Ray Griggs believes
the sale of cheap tobacco products
readily available is not in line with
broader community expectations.
"The prime driver for this change
is the health and wellbeing of all
WHEN the announcement was
made hundreds of members
and their families responded on
Navy's Facebook page -- here is
a sample of their comments:
"Can't believe that people hon-
estly think that cheap smokes is
a condition of service."
"Perhaps my husband will now
give up! Fingers X'sed."
"You want a fit and healthy work-
force to "fight and win at sea",
why not have daily 1hr compulso-
ry fitness for all personnel within
the ADF to encourage a healthy
"About time! Dental units are
tired of fixing and cleaning your
stinking teeth!! Don't get me
started on the cost to defence."
our people," VADM Griggs said. "I
suspect there will be some who will
object, but the sailors I have spoken
to in recent weeks about this measure
have been overwhelmingly supportive.
"We are committed to a fit and
healthy workforce that is ready to
achieve Navy's mission 'to fight and
win at sea'."
The new pricing regime will take
effect on January 1. Any additional
revenue from this change, which is
likely to be only temporary, will go
back into sailor's welfare programs.
QUITTING TIME: A new initiative is encouraging Navy personnel to quit the habit.
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
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