Smoke Em If You Got Em: The Rise and Fall of the Military Cigarette Ration

We rated this book:


Imagine a young man fighting in World War II. Whether he’s slogging across Europe, swabbing the deck of a battleship, or crawling through a jungle in the South Pacific, he’s probably got a cigarette between his lips, yeah?

This, according to the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College’s Joel R. Bius’s new book, Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em, is thanks to one of the American military-industrial complex’s “most highly-engineered consumer products.”

Before World War I, cigarettes were for “dandies and sissies.” But somehow, the “dirty, smelly, deadly, and often boring” battlefields of the Great War made the cigarette “manly”. The rest is history, highly specific history.

From Major General Payton March’s introduction of the ration in 1918 (countermanding an order from Secretary of War Newton Baker), to our beloved image of the smoking GI, along to the end of cigarette rations in 1973, the introduction of the Army’s Tobacco Cessation Program in 1986, and the final end of military cigarette subsidies in 2001, this book is an interesting new angle on the American Century.

Reviewed By:

Author Joel R. Bius
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 328 pages
Publisher Naval Institute Press
Publish Date 2018-Oct-15
ISBN 9781682473351
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2019
Category History


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Smoke Em If You Got Em: The Rise and Fall of the Military Cigarette Ration”