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PostSmoking Your C-Rations (John Hesley, USA, 01/30/21 4:09 am)
My stepfather had a cache of C-rations (issued by the Texas National Guard) stored in our barn. I never tried the food, but my friends and I smoked all the cigarettes. Unfortunately that led to a habit that took ten years to break. Seems like there were also packs of Juicy Fruit gum.
JE comments: When did the government remove the smokes from the rations? I looked this up, and found two competing years: 1972 and 1975. It's likely that the decision was taken in '72, and took three years fully to implement. Or rather, it took three years for the existing supply of MCIs (Meal, Combat, Individual) to run out.
Army life probably did more than anything else to universalize the smoking habit in the US during the two World Wars. Most American country boys had never seen machine-made cigarettes until 1917-'18. If you had to live in those hellish trenches, you'd smoke, too.