Sailors could be stuck at sea without being able to buy cigarettes if anti-smoking lawmakers get their way.
The Navy is under pressure to enact a ban on tobacco sales aboard Navy ships and at bases from Democratic senators who want the military out of the cigarette business.
A group of five Democratic senators sent Navy Secretary Ray Mabus a letter, released publicly on Monday, that urged him to follow through with the proposed ban under consideration by the service.
“We commend your efforts and hope that you will move forward with this initiative, which will renew emphasis on the health of our dedicated sailors and Marines as well as provide for increased combat readiness,” Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Jack Reed (R.I.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) wrote.