The Navy Department, which includes the Marine Corps, would be the first military department to prohibit tobacco sales.
Mabus says he wants sailors who are fit and resilient. Opponents in Congress say the prohibition overreaches on a habit that is unhealthy but still legal.
The Defense Department says tobacco use costs it an estimated $1.6 billion annually in medical costs and lost work time.
A spokeswoman for Mabus says some sailors and Marines understand the proposal, while others are indifferent and others are concerned.
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