Being a former Marine myself (remember, there are no ex-Marines), I have to say that I’m disappointed in the direction that the Marine Corps has decided to take regarding their treatment of E-cigarettes and Vapers. Essentially, the Marines have gone even further that the rest of the government as far as lumping vapers and smokers into the same category is concerned.
Using a base order released by the Commanding Officer of Camp Lejeune, NC, which is directed to those Marines and other servicemen/women stationed therein, as a standard for the Marine’s overall attitude towards E-cigarettes, we can see that they are systematically denying reality and attempting to remain politically correct and “health-oriented” as is popular in the media nowadays. First, their statement that the best methods for breaking one’s self of the tobacco habit are smoking cessation and readily available “professional assistance.” This ignores several established scientific studies that show that vaping is, in fact, the best method of quitting smoking.
The order continually refers to the “smoking” of E-cigarettes, which shows that the upper echelon of Camp Lejeune didn’t even bother to do the barest, most elementary research into the topic… enough to know that E-cigarettes are not “smoked” at all. The directive also establishes educational programs (which only actually serve to stand between a Marine and their first beer of the evening) to educate Marines about the “dangers of tobacco replacement devices.” Well, if they would go so far as to attempt a five-minute Google search about the “dangers of vaping” they would instantly find a bunch of media scare tactics, and a few real scientific studies proving that there are no (or insignificantly little) risks to vaping E-cigarettes.
Firstly, I believe that the Marine Corps is doing a grave injustice to their fellow Marines by promoting this wholly inaccurate information, some of which goes so far as to be intentionally misleading (otherwise known as bullshit lies). There exists a technology capable of saving the lives of millions of smokers, and they refuse to differentiate between the quicksand and the rope, the deep, icy water and the life preserver. If I’m in an airplane that’s going down fast, and I have a parachute, I’m gonna laugh in the face of anyone who suggests that the parachute is no different than the plummeting airplane, because they are both going towards the ground.
Secondly, and possibly most importantly for Marines, the new order suggests that nicotine addiction has a “negative impact on readiness.” For those of you who don’t know… “readiness” is the lynchpin of the Marine Corps’ existence. But I seem to remember a time back about, oh let’s say about 70 years ago, when every swingin’ d*ck in the military smoked cartons of cigarettes a week… even while Island-hopping… and still managed to win a World War. The LAST war this country won, I might add. If those men, the Greatest Generation as they are remembered in history books, were able to maintain a readiness that none of us will ever fully understand because we are so reliant on technology and the face of war has changed dramatically. I’m not saying that they won the war because they smoked cigarettes… but I am saying that smoking cigarettes didn’t prevent them from winning a war.
Lastly, there is always the concept of image to worry about, and when it comes to Marines, they have a proud, long-standing reputation for being bad-ass, napalm-pissing, live heart eating killers of anyone and everyone. The more we sissify the Corps, the less ready they’re going to be to face things like, oh I don’t know… death in the face of pure, unfiltered terror. Just sayin’…
So please, at the vary least, let’s see the Marine Corps allow E-cigarette users to vape in peace while they contemplate the idea that they may actually have to sacrifice their very life for a country that doesn’t care enough to research thoroughly when it comes to their health. So, basically, this valiant move by the new, modern, politically correct U.S.M.C. is as meaningless as the last 50 times they promised to be “smoke-free,” all while denying non-smokers 10 minute breaks from work, and granting smokers ten minutes to smoke a cigarette.