Nicotine and The Army
Nicotine is more addictive than heroin, alcohol, or cocaine.1a
Although unknowingly, the US Army was directly
responsible for introducing millions of young people to cigarettes and the
nicotine addiction (which is now considered a Disease) that followed. In my
case, my outfit spent about half of its’ time in the field because it was a
“Guided Missile Field Artillery Battalion”. While in the field we were often issued C-Rations for food
and necessities that included Cigarettes. This
introduction to cigarettes was to begin the hidden destruction of millions of
lungs, hearts and other human parts. (The Author)
is highly addictive. The tar in cigarettes increases a smoker's risk of lung
cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders. The carbon monoxide in smoke
increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases.1
neuroimaging technologies make it possible for researchers to observe changes in
brain function that result from smoking tobacco. Researchers are now also
identifying genes that predispose people to tobacco addiction and predict their
response to smoking cessation treatments. These findings—and many other recent
research accomplishments—present unique opportunities to discover, develop,
and disseminate new treatments for tobacco addiction, as well as scientifically
based prevention programs to help curtail the public health burden that tobacco
Nicotine, Field Food
and the Army
When operating in the
field without the aid of field kitchens, troops were generally issued C-Rations
for food and other needs.
is a photo of the basic package.
Originally, the accessories and condiments were put in a 12-ounce can. However, their bulk led to the development of an accessory package.
in the prominent foreground (At Left) is a package of “Old Gold” cigarettes.
Other brands included, Camel, Chelsea, Chesterfield, Craven
"A"-Brand, Lucky Strikes, Philip Morris, Player's, Raleigh, and
accessory can shown was later changed to a brown paper wrap.
brown butcher paper accessory pack contained sugar tablets, halazone water
purification tablets (for a brief period in 1945), a flat wooden spoon, a piece
of candy-coated chewing gum, 3 "short" sample 3-packs or one
"long" sample 9-pack of commercial-grade cigarettes and a book of
20 cardboard moisture-resistant matches, a paper-wrapped P-38 can opener printed
with instructions for its proper use, and several sheets of toilet paper. The
P-38 can openers were generally worn on the GI's "dog tag" chain to
facilitate opening the next meal's cans.
1945, the accessory pack was modified. Per the order of the Surgeon General, the
halazone tablets were removed and salt tablets were added. Also, feedback from
the field revealed that soldiers who smoked often opened up accessory packs
just to get the cigarettes and threw away the rest of the items. To reduce
waste, the accessory pack was now divided into the "short" pack with
cigarettes and matches and the "long" pack containing the other
food canned entrée originally made of stew meat (a mixture of beef and pork)
seasoned with salt, various spices, and chopped onions. They initially came in
three varieties: Meat Hash, Meat Stew with Vegetables (carrots and potatoes),
and Meat Stew with Beans. The commonplace nature of the menu was intentional,
and designed to duplicate the menu items (hash, stews, etc.) soldiers were
normally served as A or B rations in Army mess halls.
new menu item, "Meat & Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce" was added in
1943. In mid-1944 Chopped Ham, Egg, and Potato; Meat and Noodles; Pork and Rice;
Frankfurters and Beans; Pork and Beans; Ham and Lima Beans; and Chicken and
Vegetables were introduced in an attempt to increase the C rations' period of
continuous use, while the unpopular Meat Hash and equally unpopular experimental
"Mutton Stew with Vegetables" meal were dropped. In the final
revision, "Beef Stew with Vegetables" was added in 1945. By all
accounts, after the meat hash and mutton stew, the Ham and Lima Beans entree was
the most unpopular; despite continued negative field reports, it unaccountably
remained a standard entree item not only during World War II, but also during
the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.4
1a Henningfield et al., 1991, Brit. J. Add.
3 Koehler, Franz A., Special Rations for the Armed Forces: Army Operational Rations - A Historical Background, QMC Historical Studies, Historical Branch, Office of the Quartermaster General, Washington, D.C. (1958)
4 Granfield, Linda, I Remember Korea: Veterans Tell Their Stories of the Korean War, 1950-53, Clarion Books, 2003 ISBN 061817740X, 9780618177400, p. 48:
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