In compliance with Air Force Instruction 40-102, Tobacco Use in the Air Force, and Northern Regional Medical Command guidance, McDonald Army Health Center became a tobacco-free medical campus July 1.
“The harmful effects of tobacco are the leading cause of preventable death and chronic illness in the United States today, and there is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke,” said Dr. John James, MCAHC Preventive Medicine chief. “The tobacco-free campus initiative will allow us to provide a location that is safe from these known hazards for our beneficiaries, visitors and staff, which is consistent with the Army’s message of prevention, Soldier readiness and resilience.”
The medical campus includes all property owned and occupied by the medical and dental commands on Fort Eustis and Fort Story. Parking lots are considered part of the medical campus as well, and tobacco use is not permitted in private vehicles on the medical campus property.
“This [initiative prohibits] all forms of tobacco, including other delivery devices like electronic cigarettes,” James explained. “The Air Force guidance bans tobacco products within 50 feet from all buildings, parking lots, walkways, egress routes and 150 feet of any recreational use area.”
To assist with the Department of Defense’s goal of tobacco-free military installations by the year 2020, MCAHC offers a full scope of tobacco cessation services to enrolled and eligible beneficiaries, and is currently revamping the education and treatment procedures.
Those interested in quitting tobacco products can register for tobacco cessation services through the MCAHC Medical Management Clinic at 314-7612, online at http://www.ucanquit2.org
, or by calling the TRICARE North’s Tobacco Cessation Quitline at (866) 459-8766.