HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Saturday, September 20, 2008


For years, I have been hanging out with sailors (and sometimes Marines) at Riley's Music & Sports Lounge in Pt. Loma. It's a large bar in the Quality Inn hotel located at Rosecrans and Nimitz.

Riley's has two large pool tables and one of the sailors, Gary Pfeifer of Texas, taught me how to play a couple years ago (he's now on a cruiser in Mayport, FL). I'm pretty good at it and have a decent reputation at Riley's, as long as I continue to practice; which I do every weekend with the sailors.

Riley's is located just a few blocks from the nearby Naval Sonar School at Naval Base, Pt. Loma. Other than the enlisted nuclear rate, it's the toughest technical school in the Navy. These sonar sailors are really smart and sharp!!!

But, most of them have a huge, BIG problem.

They are addicted to nicotine.

Most of the sailors that I hang out with cannot go more than an hour without a cigarette. That means they can usually only play about one game of pool, or if they stretch it - maybe two, before they have to stop and go outside for a smoke. Nothing gets in the way of that all-important, must-have, cigarette!

The parking lot in front of the bar almost ALWAYS has several sailors from the bar outside dragging on their cigarettes.

And, the Navy isn't doing much about it!

They have some of the standard medical treatments available, but they are not pushed.

Combating nicotine adiction is NOT a major priority for the local Navy.

Combating alcoholism is a priority, however. If a sailor gets into a fight, or has an auto accident, because he/she has been drinking, they go to non-judicial Captain's Mast and that's on their permanent record.

But combating smoking addition, and the massive health risk that it poses, if NOT a prority for the Navy in San Diego.

Hopefully, the local media will pick up on this.
Copyright by journalist Leo E. Laurence, J.D. leopowerhere@msn.com, or call (619) 757-4909.


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