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The Army, Navy, and Air Force are banning all vaping products from the exchange
If you're a soldier, sailor or airman who enjoys taking way-too-long drags of your JUUL while on duty, then you may want to vape 'em while you've got 'em, because at the end of the month the Army, Air Force and Navy will be putting the kibosh on e-cigarette sales at base exchanges.
So far, only the Marines have yet to make a decision on whether or not they'll ban the sale of e-crayons, err, we mean e-cigarettes and vaping accessories on base.
As for whether or not the Corps will remain the military's lone purveyor of cotton candy vape juice: "No decision has been made yet," Bryan Driver, a spokesman for Marine Corps Community Services told Task & Purpose.
The Coast Guard did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The decision for the other military branches to stop selling e-cigs at their base exchanges comes amid concerns about links between vaping and lung disease.
"Until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments to collect information on e-cigarette and vape products is complete, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is removing these products from its assortment, effective close of business Sept. 30," Chris Ward, a spokesman for AAFES, told Task & Purpose.
For the Army and Air Force Exchange Services, the temporary ban on e-cigs is unlikely to have that much of an affect on their bottom line.
"The category is a very small portion of the overall tobacco category accounting for about ½ of 1 percent of the total sales of all tobacco at exchanges last year," Ward told Task & Purpose. In 2018, e-cigarette products accounted for $1.8 million in sales at Air Force and Army exchanges, down from 11% the year prior.
In a Sept. 23 statement, the Army Public Health Center warned troops and their families to steer clear of vape products, saying that "hundreds of cases of severe lung illness associated with e-cigarette products have been reported across multiple states. Numerous people have died from the illness."
The Navy for its part already removed vaping products from a majority of its locations earlier this month, and plans to put a stop to the sale of those dastardly smoke delivery systems at its remaining vendors.
"The [Navy Exchange] does not sell any vaping products, but some Navy Exchange locations have concession vendors who do sell these products," Courtney Williams, a spokeswoman for the Navy Exchange told Task & Purpose. "Therefore, on Sept. 12 [Navy Exchange Service Command] made the decision, due to recent federal proposals and out of an abundance of caution to prohibit all concessionaires or vendors from selling vaping products in all [Navy Exchange] locations by Oct. 1.
Which just leaves the few, the proud, the Marines still in the fight for troops' rights to purchase e-cigs on base, where they can also buy chewing tobacco, actual cigarettes, and booze, before, or ideally after a day out on the range tossing hand grenades or shredding targets with 5.56 and 7.62 mm rounds – you know, safe wholesome stuff with no adverse side affects.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.