Vaping Blog

USS George Washington Opens a Vaping Area


When I joined the Navy in 1990, smoking inside was being phased out. When I was going through the year and a half of electronics tech training, our school buildings were smoke free. You could only smoke in designated outdoor smoking areas. When I got to my 1st duty station, NAS Whidbey Island, it was a little different initially. When I arrived, I went into the office to meet my division officer, he noticed I smoke and pulled an ash tray out of his desk and invited me to light up with him. There was a dedicated indoor smoking area in my building as well. Within a year of getting to that duty station, the indoor smoking lamp went out. We were made to smoke outside, although some didn’t listen to the order.

The only time I spent on a ship in my 9 years in the Navy, we had to smoke on the fantail of the small ship I was on. It was a 188 foot mine sweeper with a crew of only 51. There were only a couple of us that smoked though. I remember times in rough seas where we were told to stay inside for hours and hours. That’s were vaping would have been great. But looking back at those times, I am 100% sure that if vaping was to be done, it would have had to happen out there on the fantail.

Well, there is good news for sailors on the USS George Washington. They have a dedicated vaping area, free from cigarette smoke now. I personally don’t have any issues with vaping among the smokers, but for many, it’s too much of a temptations and let’s face it… Cigarette smoke stinks.

“I took a survey of the crew and air wing, and found that we had more than five hundred Sailors who use E-cigarettes, so we wanted to put them in an environment where they wouldn’t be around cigarette smokers while they’re trying to break the habit,” said Brahmsteadt. “The health of the crew is important, so if this is a step to help them quit tobacco altogether, that’s what we want to do.”

This new smoke deck gives Sailors an outlet to escape from the ashes and smoke of traditional smoke pits, and allows them to more easily make a transition to the E-cigarette. 

For Sailors like Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class Zachary Dixon, using the E-cigarette has been a vital steppingstone in moving away from regular cigarettes. 

The USS George Washington is a massive aircraft carrier that was commissioned in 1992, shortly after I joined. Having a vaping area on this ship might not be convenient to all the ship’s crew, but those that work far from this area can still use regular smoking areas as well.

I am so happy to see this. It’s refreshing to know that the leadership in the US Navy cares for the health of their crew.

Read the entire article at