New Smoking and Drinking Policy

GMG-New smoking policy.

It appears to have been written by someone who has never had to deal with young people who smoke.

Moreover, cadets, irrespective of age, shall not smoke or vape while participating in any RAFAC activity.

So you’re telling me that if a 19 year old cadet, who’s been smoking for 3 years, does anything away with cadets that they can’t smoke? This is a perfectly realistic scenario. On any multi-day activity I’ve always asked during the brief that any smokers make them selves known to me afterwards, so I can go through some ground rules. It means I have control of where/when they can smoke.

You can’t tell someone who’s been smoking for 3 years that they suddenly have to give up for a week. All that happens is staff say ‘no smoking’ and then those that want to smoke will just do it in silly places.

Given the new policy talks a lot about dangers of smoking in terms of fire risk etc, then making the rule that cadets can’t smoke, no ifs of buts, just won’t work and increases the risk as they smoke in areas they shouldn’t.

Yes smoking is bad, we all know that. Yes we should discourage it. I agree with pretty much the whole policy in fact. But that one line is completely out of touch.


Great way to make sure we get rid of a load of our older cadets.


Great way to prove the CoC is out of touch with any sort of reality and would be helpful if anyone at HQAC could spend at least 5 minutes on a real unit.

Why are we surprised? HQAC trot out a load of rubbish that sounds good and satisfies some directive set by some faceless muppet so far from the coal face they are pretty much irrelevant.

One day they’ll just get so far away from reality the corps will cease to function. Maybe then, when they’re all out a job, just maybe, they’ll realise they’ve made a mistake. I doubt it though, it’ll just be someone else’s fault.


All that will happen now is smoking cadets will leave.

Im actually fully ok with this.
Its 2022. Not 1972.

A full uk ban on smoking is only a matter of time.
Cant happen soon enough imho


I realise i have pulled a pin on a grenade here.

I also realise they will come for the fatties next.


I don’t disagree on this, but we’re not there yet. If we’re just saying bye bye to young people because they’ve picked up smoking then that’s out of order I think. I’ve seen quite a few studies in the past showing that there are far higher percentages of young smokers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, compared to those from higher backgrounds. That for me makes it even more unfair.

I’m personally all for them bringing in the idea where if you’re born after X date then you can never buy cigarettes. But again, that’s not where we are in society yet, so in the mean time we need to work with what we’ve got.

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Probably the first thing that you and I are going to fundamentally disagree on!

Society may well move in this direction, I don’t smoke, so it doesn’t affect me, but it is not for HQAC to tell cadets or staff what to do on matters of civil liberty.

Every ounce of my being pushes back against being told what to do in this fashion, by government and even more so by HQAC.

Who exactly do they think they are? They are not some higher power that can tell cadets or staff what to do in this manner.


What would be the policy for a 19 year old service instructor?

A 19 year old should only have been smoking since 18 technically right? You haven’t been able to buy fags aged 16 for a while I think.

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Let’s be honest, that’s never stopped people below 18 smoking. I have known many a cadet who started smoking before they were 18.

Devils advocate, but we are saying that cadets over 18 can’t drink (which they may have been doing as long as smoking) and not smoke. Is there really a difference - they are both drugs, both addictive substances and both legal. You abide by the rules of club - if an RAF station is no smoking, where would they smoke anyway?

I think this is the main motivator here, actually - I believe it’s a forces-wide policy that there is no smoking on any stations (if not now then very soon)?

So you’d have to march your smoking group off station to let them have a fag…

Its the old “its their trainset, their rules” argument.

I detest smoking in all forms.

But i also get the whole libity thing.
Its just once in a million times hqac and i agree.

But thats it. Next time will be in 2051… but :rofl::joy::rofl::joy::rofl::joy::rofl::joy:

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But given the are now only 3 RAF stations and cadets will probably only visit them once in their career it might not be that much of an impact…


The Army Reserve Centre we’re on is no smoking anywhere now.

Majority of stations (Tri service policy) have been smoke free since last year. The last few generally went smoke free at the start of this financial year.

Technical accommodation areas are completely smoke (and vape) free.

Concessions are made for actual living accomodation areas.

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As a reformed/occasional smoker (I now mostly vape), I don’t have any major gripes with this policy.

For most single-day activities, this shouldn’t cause anyone any problems, and if anyone said to me they thought they’d struggle, I’d recommend they do what I do during the day at work and invest in nicotine replacement products.

For example, I was on a RAFAC activity in public last weekend, I had a smoke at 9am just before I went on duty and then didn’t have one again until 4pm when I came off duty.

The problems (if any arise) will come on multi-day activities, as others have highlighted. But the question is, if all MOD establishments are smoke free, where would they smoke anyway?

And how many cadets will this actually affect? We all know 18+ cadets and I’m sure most of us can identify 18+ cadets we know who smoke, but I would boldly suggest even among our 18+ cadre they’re in a minority. Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as @Paracetamol and wave them goodbye as they’re walking out of the door, as an OC I would have no issues explaining the policy to any of my 18+ cadets who smoked when they were signing up for an activity and leave it up to them to decide whether they still wanted to go or not.

There an interesting reaction here without many knowing the full background.

The MOD have brought in a no smoking policy across its whole estate. The only exception is for ‘livers in’, who can use the designated smoking areas near their accommodation or workplace.

Maybe if Squadrons had proper smoking receptacles, instead of a baked bean tin, we might have a leg to stand on. And again not helped by those having a crafty fag around the back of a building.


Yes. One is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms, sneaking off, and an increased fire risk - the very thing they want to reduce.

This is a regular approach. Tbh the cadet ban generally isn’t actually new I don’t think, but enough people around the organisation have managed to remain attached to reality.

Would you rather:

  1. Send it underground, not know where they are, and increase that fire risk you’re so hot on reducing
  2. Discourage, but maintain control and safety.

Can you imagine the brain tilt and panic that would ensue at HQAC, if a 19 year old transgender cadet went to the press claiming that smoking helped them with their mental health, but the new smoking ban drove them out of the organisation.

“Read all about it…Transgender adults with mental health problems not welcome in Air Cadets anymore!”