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Tobacco Industry Pressure Keeps Cheap Smokes Available to Military

By Janet Basu, UCSF News Services | February 12, 2006

The long-standing military tradition of cheap cigarettes in military stores persists because of politics in the U.S. military sales system and tobacco industry pressures, according to a new study led by a UCSF School of Nursing professor.

These two factors receive additional strength from the perception within the military that tobacco use is a "right," says Ruth Malone, RN, PhD, senior author of the study and professor of nursing and health policy in the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Study findings are published in the February issue of the journal "Tobacco Control."

Based on their examination of tobacco industry documents, searches of military websites and news databases, and interviews with principal informants, the study researchers found that the tobacco industry used its political clout in Congress and its ties to the military supply system to repeatedly thwart military efforts to raise the prices of tobacco in commissaries. Such efforts were successful in obstructing any price change for more than a decade.

Read more at Janet Basu, UCSF News Services