The Department of Defense announced today that starting Nov.
1, 1996, tobacco products in military commissaries will be sold
at the higher prevailing military exchange rate prices. Customers
will still be able to purchase tobacco products at commissaries,
but the exchanges will be charged with managing the sale of
Tobacco products sold in military commissaries are currently
sold at lower prices than in the military exchanges which operate
to return profits to support military morale, welfare and
Under the new sales policy, the price of
tobacco products in both the exchanges and commissaries will be
the same throughout the services.
Any additional earnings
generated from the increased prices of those tobacco products
sold in the commissaries will go to non-appropriated fund
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy
Fred Pang said, We are taking this step to enhance our
personnel readiness by discouraging smoking and promoting
Currently, the more deeply discounted
prices of tobacco products in military commissaries send a mixed
signal to our people about the seriousness of our tobacco
Although the Department has aggressively promoted tobacco
deglamorization and smoking cessation programs, about 32 percent
of military personnel still use tobacco products, well above the
20 percent Healthy People 2000 objective.
The pricing change is
aimed at discouraging the consumption of tobacco products.
Even a reduction in consumption of a few percentage points
will reduce lost time and associated costs due to medical
problems associated with tobacco usage according to Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Stephen Joseph.
Time and again, tobacco has been cited as a health hazard.
Since the military depends on its men and women to be as healthy
as possible, it is most appropriate that incentives for unhealthy
behavior be eliminated, or at least neutralized.
action will promote healthier military communities for our
service members, retirees and their families, he said.
Pang said, The bottom line for us is that we believe that
we will continue to improve our personnel readiness by having a
This has already been proven by the reduction
in the incidence of tobacco use which was at 51 percent in 1980.
We will also benefit from healthier families and reduced medical