Smoking In Military Populations, VA Medical Centers: DOD, VA, Congress Should Take Stronger Steps Toward Eliminating Tobacco Use Panel suggests eliminating tobacco from military within 20 years | Stars and Stripes In civilian populatrion about 20% of the adult population smokes; in the military population about 33% smoke. Study shows cost of smoking to Dept of Defense is $846-Million in most recent year. These are costs to the department in medical costs and lost personnel efficiency. No doubt a part of this huge cost is veterans requiring medical services. But veterans may begin smoking once seperated from the service. I wonder how the calculations of lost efficiency were made? I'm almost positive they would've been exagerated to the Nth degree to make a sound case. And it's proposed that future new officers and enlistees be "smoke free" in their personal habits. Couldn't that policy deprive the military of good talent, who just happen to be smokers?