From The Washington Times:

Arthur Rizer spent almost 21 years in the Army before retiring as a lieutenant colonel from the West Virginia National Guard. He once trained Iraqi special forces soldiers in Fallujah.

Now a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a public policy research organization in Washington, Mr. Rizer said, “This is absolutely government run amok. I don’t think this is going to solve anything.”

Mr. Rizer said he agrees that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are not healthy but worries that creating a “nanny state” program in this case may cause more problems than it solves.

“You’re going to have individuals who still smoke,” Mr. Rizer said. “You’re just going to create a black market.”

He said he started smoking because it helped alleviate the stress of combat. His commander recognized the health impact but created incentives such as offering a weekend in the quiet rear area for soldiers who stopped smoking.

“You can do things that have an impact. The military gives bonuses all the time for certain types of behavior,” Mr. Rizer said. “You can do this through smart public policy if you let people be adults.”