Starting Jan. 1, Hawaii-based Marines will have to be 21 to smoke — or they could face state and Marine Corps penalties
.In an administrative message released today, Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis announced the Corps would cooperate with a new Hawaii law that raises the minimum age to use or purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. The law, signed in June, is intended to stop people from becoming habitual smokers.
Hawaii officials have told media outlets that 99 percent of people who smoke start the habit before age 21.Brilakis said he was directing all stores aboard Marine Corps installations in Hawaii to stop selling tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and electronic smoking devices, to anyone under 21. Marine Corps and Navy personnel and dependents, as well as other family members, guests and base residents, will be expected to comply with the new law, Brilakis said.
This is the kind of petty asshattery that drives so many service members away.
Young troops and Marines can endure hazards and privations, separation from their loved ones, and the risks of combat.
But here we have the Marines simply making their lives more difficult.
Understand, on board Marine Corps installations, the Hawaiian state law has no force. It’s federal property. Had the senior leadership had a lick of common sense, they would have simply left the age to purchase or use tobacco products at 18.
Indeed, back in the 1990s, when Fort Bliss, Texas saw an uptick of soldiers having alcohol related incidents because troops under 21 were simply going a couple miles south into Mexico, the base commander didn’t put Mexico off limits. He simply lowered the on base drinking age to 18.