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Send smokes again to the troops starting Aug. 27

By Ed O'Keefe


Actor Robert Mitchum enjoys a smoke in film "The Longest Day." (Photo courtesy the Daily Mail

Eye Opener

Sending care packages to service members serving overseas? Later this month it'll once again be legal to send them cigarettes and other tobacco products.

A law meant to ban tobacco smuggling and to prevent children from ordering tobacco through the mail went into effect June 29. The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009, introduced by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), permits people to send tobacco products for noncommercial purposes if both the shipper and receiver are legal adults and the package includes delivery confirmation.

The new law prohibited the friends and families of troops deployed overseas from sending care packages through first class mail. The U.S. Postal Service initially said customers could only use Express Mail to ship tobacco products in order to comply with the law. But military families protested because Express Mail packages cannot be sent overseas.

Starting Aug. 27, military care packages with tobacco can be sent using Priority Mail, which does ship to overseas military addresses, according to USPS spokesman Greg Frey.

"We hope that with this modification we’re able to serve the needs of Americans serving overseas," Frey said.

Kohl and other lawmakers had promised a quick solution to their oversight. In a statement Thursday, Kohl said “I’m pleased that the Postal Service responded so quickly to the concerns of our military families and found a way to honor the original intent of the bill: to keep cigarettes out of the hands of children and prevent tobacco smugglers from profiting on the black market."

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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By Ed O'Keefe  | August 13, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Military  
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Comments

30% of Americans are dying from obesity-related chronic illness, and smoking is still the #1 cause of lung cancer. But somehow it's still socially acceptable to send soldiers junk food and cigarettes as a token of our "appreciation".

Posted by: kcx7 | August 13, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

If a member of the armed forces asks for cigarettes or a candy bar or a bag of pretzels, it is probably a comfort to them. By all means, send it.

Posted by: bald_eagle1 | August 13, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

kcx7 wrote:

30% of Americans are dying from obesity-related chronic illness, and smoking is still the #1 cause of lung cancer. But somehow it's still socially acceptable to send soldiers junk food and cigarettes as a token of our "appreciation".

---

Maybe because neither obesity nor lung cancer is the #1 cause of death or ailment for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the jobs these guys do and the stress they endure, let them smoke cigarettes if they want.

Posted by: BurgundyNGold | August 13, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

On August 13, 2010 at 7:46 AM kcx7 Posted:

30% of Americans are dying from obesity-related chronic illness, and smoking is still the #1 cause of lung cancer. But somehow it's still socially acceptable to send soldiers junk food and cigarettes as a token of our "appreciation".
___________________________________________

kcx7, those tofu and bean sprout meals have turned your brain to mush. Try to eat a good steak and potato meal with loads of butter and salt once in a while and you'll feel much better. BTW, please do try to remember to take your meds each and every day and I can assure you that your brain will again function normally.

Posted by: ChuckHill1 | August 13, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I would only send them if they were duty & Tax free to buy then I would gladly send them to our troops, but for Congress to worry about smoking of which no one has yet to date been able to offer any logical evidence that smoking is a leading cause of Cancer, Alcohol on the other hand kills more than a pack of smokes does yet people don't pay the hefty tax that we as smokers pay, why ??

The playing field is tilted in the wrong direction and should be leveled immediately with more tax shifted on Alcohol, not saying smokes shouldn't be taxed but it's totally unfair, oh and by the way a Man needs alittle grease once in awhile to keep the pipes clean !!! The tax burden on chips, candy, smokes, is not needed and it's not going to solve anything !!! And members of Congress don't understand why were pissed besides the other 1,000's of laws they pass for no good reason. In fact if you were to ask any one of them what X law(s) say or do they couldn't tell you.

Vote the Bums out STOP THE MADNESS !!!

Posted by: dwenzel2 | August 13, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

So let's see. We send them over to Iraq and Afghanistan to get in real harm's way, to very possibly get killed. And if the war doesn't do it to them, we ship them cigarettes and junk food, to finish the job. Yup, that's the American way.

Posted by: wendystevens | August 13, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

If they can die for us, they can have cigarettes if they want. This "control" was started under George Bush and the Mormons who controlled him. No nicotine, no booze, no caffeine. Get rid of all the control freaks and control policies that were stuffed down our throats.

Posted by: pkbishop1 | August 13, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

If the bombs and bullets don't get them, the cigarettes eventually will. A quarter of a million Americans die of lung cancer every year. I don't care what anybody says, this is stupid. We don't need to enable this.

Posted by: claycosner | August 13, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Hell, the bullets and IEDs will probably kill them long before cancer or obesity does.

Posted by: LisaJain1 | August 13, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The sooner they die of cancer, the less we'll have to pay for their care and pensions.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 13, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Re: Robert Mitchum "enjoys a smoke."

What kind of caption is that? He was feeding an addiction, not enjoying a smoke.

Mitchum died of tobacco-related diseases, like many, many WWII vets; he had both lung cancer and emphysema. Some "enjoyment." How about a pic of Mitchum in the hospital, with a caption, "This is how a lot of GI's wound up after being addicted in WWII."

This romantic image and its spurious caption, combined with O'Keefe's headline -- his imperative to send smokes to the troops--indicates a severe bias in this item.

"Keep tabs on the Government?" Keep tabs on O'Keefe!

Posted by: geneb5 | August 13, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the Hershey bars, nylons and prophylactics. ("Shoot, a feller could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas.")

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | August 13, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse


tell everyone to send the cigs to me since they are so expensive here in bum f^%$# egypt. I'll take them.
It all comes down to stress..
The enormous stress of a soldier in combat situations.
And my person stress of this darn economic crisis. This crisis is reaching into 2012.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | August 13, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

and salt peter......

OMG, is that still used???

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | August 13, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Re: Robert Mitchum "enjoys a smoke."

What kind of caption is that? He was feeding an addiction, not enjoying a smoke.

Mitchum died of tobacco-related diseases, like many, many WWII vets; he had both lung cancer and emphysema. Some "enjoyment." How about a pic of Mitchum in the hospital, with a caption, "This is how a lot of GI's wound up after being addicted in WWII."

This romantic image and its spurious caption, combined with O'Keefe's headline -- his imperative to send smokes to the troops--indicates a severe bias in this item.

"Keep tabs on the Government?" Keep tabs on O'Keefe!

__________________________________________

Oh goodness, somebody needs to realize that switching to half-caff isn't going far enough.

Posted by: mlincoln1 | August 13, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"A law meant to ban tobacco smuggling and to prevent children from ordering tobacco through the mail went into effect June 29......"

Sounds altruistic when in fact, its all about the money.

For years now, the Feds have been trying to shut down Sovereign Indian Nations' mail-order tobacco businesses for the sake of recouping lost tax revenues. Originating from these nations, sales are subjected to a duty, but not taxed. The difference between the duty & the tax offer substantial savings for smokers.
Were it not that the commodity is the evil noxious weed, this legislation would have been met with public outcry for 1) The Gov't forcing small business people from their livelihoods, and 2) Targeted harassment of Native Americans.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | August 13, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

As long as my tax dollars have to pay for veteran's smoking and drinking related illnesses in the form of service-connected disability compensation, the military should require soldiers to quit before they allow them to join. They should also disallow cigarettes and booze at the tax free commensaries. Most people think VA compensation goes to soldiers that were injured in service. The VAST majority of compensation is paid for non-injury related diseases. Now the taxpayers have to pay for diabetes and heart disease due to Agent Orange exposure. The VA can't even take into consideration a veteran's long history of obesity, smoking and drinking. VA DISABILITY COMPENSATION IS A HUGE TAX PAYER RIPOFF AND NEEDS TO BE REFORMED. I am not talking about injuries incurred in service. I'm talking about veterans taking responsiblity for their own health and not expecting the tax payer to compensate them for their bad habits. And don't even get me started on bogus PTSD claims...All veteran's have to say now is that "they were scared in theatre," even if they never saw combat. One veteran claimed PTSD because "my dog bite me."

Posted by: milana41 | August 13, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

To: milana41,
If it were not for the Smoking and Drinking VETERANS YOU would NOT have any taxes to pay or FREEDOM to have the JOB you have.

My God(praise the Lord) what has this country become?

If they would "make the Federal Workers and State Workers put out more production" or get rid of some of their jobs, the deficit wouldn't be so bad.(see related story)

Posted by: justiceseeker51 | August 13, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Anybody got a problem with sending them some half smokes?

Posted by: jimbo1949 | August 13, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

There are far worse things my husband can die from; mortar attacks, residual effects from burn pits. The leading cause of death is birth; we are all going to die someday.
The point of fighting this legislation was I could be arrested for mailing cigarettes that I purchased legally to send to my husband who is deployed. I as a military wife should not have to go to jail to send my husband items that are legally purchased. The original legislation allowed for 10 oz of cigarettes shipped seperatlyfrom all other items, which is less than a carton. I send him 2 cartons on the 1st and the 15th along with food items. It would be cost prohibitive to mail 10 oz of cigarettes at a time at $10.70 per box for medium flat rate. It would have been and additional $21.40; plus another $10.70 to send the food.

Posted by: ArmyWife1 | August 14, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Die for my freedom? Which freedom? The freedom to kill brown people half a world away?

Posted by: jiji1 | August 16, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

mothers of soldiers serving are very up set!now we can ship,,but the cost just went up! instead of the flat rate we now have to pay extra, so what should cost us 10'99 to ship will now cost us 21.99, we scrimp and save to make shure every soldier from Alaska gets a care box! we yard sale, bake sale, and even sell our own things to get the money to do this!, now we are going to have to raise even more money, who gains??? the soldiers???? the mama,s??? no,, the post office! is the government, does this sound like fair to any one???? the soldiers mama,s are now going to be contacting our rep.s and i smell a big,,,soldiers mothers march!!!! re think this,,,,face the mom,s!

Posted by: miss_katlynn | August 16, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Robert Mitchum died of lung cancer at the age of 79. That is hardly a life cut tragically short.

Our soldiers earned every penny of "my" tax money. If you don't like how "your" tax money is spent, go serve.

Posted by: boreleper | August 19, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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