Start enjoying the health benefits of a smoke-free environment…

…anywhere in, near or around any VA medical facility


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VA will implement a smoke-free policy beginning in October 2019 and complete full implementation no later than January 2020.

VHA’s new smoke-free policy applies to cigarettes, cigars, pipes (including electronic and e-cigarettes), and vape pens or e-cigars.

VA evaluated the current state of research on second-hand and third-hand smoke, as well as best practices in the health care industry, then modernized its policy.

The new policies for patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and employees allows VA to protect the health and well-being of VA staff, patients, and the public. It’s part of VA’s commitment to provide excellent health care for Veterans and their families. Click here for additional resources available to Veterans who want to quit smoking. Employees can contact their facility for resources if they want to quit smoking.

Evidence of significant medical risks

VHA’s new smoke-free policy also applies to all electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) not approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

There is overwhelming evidence that smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke creates significant medical risks. There is a growing body of evidence that exposure to third-hand smoke creates additional risks to safety and direct patient care. Click here to learn more about the health risks associated with smoking from the U.S.  Surgeon General.

Want to quit? Here’s another great website to get you there.

VHA has these extensive resources and programs to assist Veterans in their smoke-free journey.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Charles Sontag    

    Smokin’ in the boys room
    Smokin’ in the boys room
    “VA” don’t you fill me up with your rules
    Everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in “VA”
    Checkin’ out the halls makin’ sure the coast is clear
    Lookin’ in the stalls, nah, there ain’t nobody here
    My buddies Sixx, Mick and Tom
    To get caught would surely be the death of us all
    Smokin’ in the boys room
    Smokin’ in the boys room
    “VA” don’t you fill me up with your rules
    Everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in “VA”
    (Part of the lyrics, “VA” inserted, from “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” by Brownsville Station, 1973

  2. Akicita Mani    

    Maybe it is time for ACTION instead of talk. Spread the word among ALL vets who are smokers and who use the VA. It is time for a SMOKE-IN at all VAMC across this country. Let us set November 10. 2019 as the date. The day before Veterans Day and the local media will be doing their tribute pieces on veterans. Get your vets together and go to your local VA and “smoke ’em if you got ’em” (outside the buildings, of course, in their soon to be done away with smoking areas). Alert the local media. Use your unit web pages, use Facebook. Use word of mouth. Get the word out. If they succeed, they will try for the guns next. And then your Bible or whatever Holy book you use.

    1. Akicita Mani    

      Change of date for “Smoke-In” : November 10 is a Sunday. NEW DATE November 7. Thursday. Better for the news cycle, VA is in full swing on Thursdays. This is called “Civil Disobedience” and there may be consequences. Know that going in. Most likely fines.

      1. Charles Sontag    

        You could take advantage of the cessation program and save a lot of money. I quit over twenty years ago and am very happy I did.

  3. Akicita Mani    

    So now we have to smoke on the sidewalk on So. Huntington Ave., rain, snow or blizzard. Then be admitted for pneumonia. That’s one way for us to quit. Just bury me with a carton of Marlboros and a lighter. THIS IS SOOOOOO WRONG!!!

    Edit or delete this

  4. Andrea Steinman    

    100% service connected with PTSD and I would actually consider seriously quitting if my anxiety wasn’t so high and I actually felt safe here in a VA facility (Crescent House located in Lowell, MA an extension of Edith- Norse Rogers Memorial Hospital located in Bedford, MA). The thugs, hoodlums, and riff raff right outside my door have me on edge constantly. They’ve stolen bikes that were chained up, been casing out another veteran’s truck with a toolbox on it, always asking for $1, always asking for cigarettes, and jiggling car door handles to see if they can get in! Put a gate up and I’ll quit smoking.

  5. Sharon Grama    

    This is just totally wrong! Men & women who fought for this country should be allowed to smoke at a place they go to for healthcare from their said fighting wars for this country!

  6. Sharon Dennison    

    Yet another liberal decision! Drink and dip all you want but heaven forbid light a cigarette!

  7. CHARLES E NELSON JR    

    ASININE. So now you, the OPPRESSORS of FORCED IMPLEMENTATION of so-called ‘POLICIES’ that deem are Necessarily appropriate on the federal grounds of EVERY military hospital in the country, in include ALL OPEN SPACES THROUGHOUT THE FEDERALLY-DESIGNATED AREA(S) ON HOSPITAL PROPERTY ON AND OFF VA HOSPITAL GROUNDS, ON AND OFF MILITARY INSTALLATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY – HAVE “DECIDED” FOR ME THAT A-N-Y SMOKING DEVICE THROUGHOUT E-N-T-I-R-E AIR-SPACE ON ANY, TO INCLUDE THE SPACE WITHIN MY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE ON FEDERAL PROPERTY is now YOUR PROPERTY ONCE I ‘SQUAT’ ONTO YOUR FEDERALLY-DESIGNATED PROPERTY AND IS LIABLE FOR YOU TO INSPECT TO SEE IF I SMOKE OR SMOKED IN MY VEHICLE…..?!?!?! thats BS!!!. – ASININE “POLICY” OVER-REACH!!!!!! CLEARLY THE A-T-M-O-S-P-H-E-R-E OF A-N-Y ENVIRONMENT SHALL ALWAYS BE “FREE” OF “SMOKE” IN A-N-Y FORM EVERYWHERE OUTSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – YOU HAVE NNNNO RIGHT TO SHOVE INSTRUCTION AND OUTLANDISH “POLICY” RELATIVE TO A-N-Y NICOTINE PRODUCT OR TOBACCO PRODUCT I CHOSE TO INGEST AT ANY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU PLAN TO GIVE ME A TICKET OFFICE AND BAN ME OFF THE PREMISES IF I SMOKE A TOBACCO/NICOTINE PRODUCT WITH MY WINDOWS UP IN MY VEHICLE BECAUSE “YOU OBSERVE ‘SMOKE’ PRODUCTS BEING DISPLAYED/USED IN MY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE THAT I DRIVE TO WORK IN EVERYDAY….???? RRRRRRRRRRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DONT THINK SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WONT BEING PAYING THE TICKET OR YYYYYYOU ANY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YYYYYYYOU PAY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “DISGRUNTLED VETERAN of MMMMMMMMMMMMANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  8. William Smickle    

    Smoke free environment should mean a smoke FREE campus. At times you still have to pass by a station and get a face full of smoke. Other issues, at least at Bay Pines, too many smokers do not adhere to the policy and smoke in areas outside designated smoking areas. On Thursday of this week someone was walking towards a parking area smoking a cigarette and I got a face full of smoke. This is the worst that can happen to a previous smoker that quite over twenty years ago, Another problem with this whole system is that there is no monitoring to control people smoking outside of the designated smoking areas.

  9. Mariposa Lily    

    Yay! This is great news! Kudos to you for doing the right thing!

  10. George Hilton    

    So if I’m smoking in my car when I drive into V.A. property, will I be shiot by the V.A. thugs in uniform?

    1. Sammy    

      No you won’t, but you’ll probably die from stupidity before you get there

  11. Jeremy Garber    

    That’s just great! How many vets that may need addiction rehab, or something along those lines, to improve their lives, would’ve come in, and now will just stay home?

    1. Sharon Grama    

      I totally agree and that is just so wrong in many ways.

  12. William Smickle    

    I am a previous user of cigarettes, and as us pre-users know, there is nothing more discusting to you nose than cigarette smoke! This present policy does not work. Too many people do not adhere to the policy and there is no monitoring, so they do not have to adhere. Just today at Bay Pines I got a face full of smoke from someone smoking while walking from the mental heath building towards a parking lot. The only way to have “smoke free environment” is to make the campus smoke free, smoking not allowed anywhere on campus!!!!!!!!!!

  13. John Ferguson    

    What a great decision..my only question is “what took you so long?”

  14. Adam    

    Smoke-free environment: A healthy environment.

    1. Ralph Vander Loop    

      I am 70, and I have been waiting for a smoke free environment all my life, THANKS MUCH , for now I will not have to get headaches from second hand smoke, while at the VA facilities.

  15. Arnold Cabral    

    To who read this can doesn’t APPY TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES…..email Senators or Representative contract Veterans Affairs Committee passed a new Benefit for Disabled Veterans who is 100 percent service connected a Dentist know how to put in G4 implants for free because their absolutely not one works at a Veterans Medical Center or a contract with the Veterans Affairs Administration and if a Disabled Veterans who is percent service connected don’t get the G4 implants it would cause bad Health Care plus it cause bad gums disease also it will cause Cancer…..Thanks for the Support and Stay Healthy and your Family….Thanks for the Support

  16. Robert Kaczor    

    Several years ago after spending 3 weeks in the hospital, with no smoking, quit finally, feeling a lot better, and actually enjoy tasting the food. The smell after discharge from the hospital was making me gag and choke. Walking outside on the sidewalk past the smoking area is horrible, no longer have to avoid the area using the parking lot, and using the sidewalk.
    Not using VA Hospitals/C-Boxes (C-Boxes: Ready Med, M-F), rebellion against the new rules, shows how little you value your life, other veterans’, and includes your family with grandbabies.
    Walking outside on the sidewalk past the smoking area is horrible, no longer avoiding the area. Enjoying the ability to walk outside (weather permitting), between appointments,
    2007 Colleges changed to no-smoking a long time except for POV’S, with rule no dumping ashtray in the parking lot, and tickets for offenders starting at $35. Each offense adds another $35 on top of prior fine paid.
    Smokey the Bear says quit smoking, prevent wildfires, and save our forests.

  17. George G Roberts    

    In 1943 while flying missions in a B17 bomber over occupied Europe , I smoked an off brand cigarette because the ration was 10 packs a week versus 7 for the major brands .In October of 1964 I heard the cancer report over the radio while eating lunch at Keesler AFB where I worked. I poured water over the remaining fags in my pack and tossed it into the garbage. One of the smartest moves made in my life time. I am still clean at age 98 and just about to drive to a local cafe for a bite to eat.

  18. Ed    

    Why does it take that long to implement, set policy and date Period.

  19. Robert Kaczor    

    Admitted in the hospital several years ago after spending 3 weeks, with no smoking, quit finally, feeling a lot better, and actually enjoy tasting the food. The smell after discharge from the hospital was making me gag and choking as well. Walking outside on the sidewalk past the smoking area is horrible, no longer have to avoid the area using the parking lot, and walking on the sidewalk.

    Not using VA Hospitals/C-Boxes (C-Boxes: Ready Med, M-F), rebellion against the new rules, shows how little you value your life, other veterans’, and includes your family with grandbabies.

    Walking outside on the sidewalk past the smoking area is horrible, no longer avoiding the area. Enjoying the ability to walk outside (weather permitting), between appointments,

    2007 Colleges changed to no-smoking a long time except for POV’S around 2010, with rule no dumping ashtray in the parking lot, and tickets for offenders starting at $10 amd up. Each offense adds another $35 on top of prior fine paid.

    Smokey the Bear says quit smoking, prevent wildfires, and save our forests.

  20. Jeffrey Spehar    

    Better late than never VA. Good going. Quit smoking (for the last time) on 1 September 2002. Best decision I ever made.

  21. Frank A Schalleur III    

    I’m 71, a lifetime smoker who has paved more highways, supported more gravy train legislative windfalls than I would care to admit! I’m also 100% service-connected and will never quit smoking – because that morning cough has removed the asbestos fibers I constantly inhaled – both service (as Main Control phone-talker, my general quarters duty was inside a woven asbestos suit with fire-proof face shield that i spent maybe 30 hours minimum in) on my LST-1171; a now Navy RETIRED ENFN (E-3); and civilian auto mechanic, 3 homes (old) stripped of walls full and used and sanded joint compound (guess what it had added until the 70’s), etc. etc. etc., and now that you do-good bastards think you’re decisions are better than mine, you’re stripping my legal rights in the last place I have to go for my meds and mostly useless health providers. Thanks a million!

    1. Sharon Grama    

      I totally agree with you on this! It’s crazy how smokers have no rights anymore but yet non-smokers have them all.

  22. Jeffrey H.    

    Smoke-Free Facilities sound great, but does this include VA employees will no longer smoke or vape?? Removal of all designated smoking areas throughout the entire VA?

  23. Gena Taylor    

    Well, I’m 72, 100% service-connected disabled, and a smoker. You will never see me using your facilities again. I had figured you were my last option for medical care, since you at least allowed smoking outside the facility. Since you all have decided to jump on the bandwagon, as far as I’m concerned, I no longer have options if it comes to a need for hospitalization. So I guess, if I think I might be having a heart attack in the future, instead of calling an ambulance, I will, if I can, grab a cold one out of the fridge, and pop the top and wait for the inevitable.

    1. Danny Hayes    

      Gena, I agree with you 100%. You know as a young soldier I remember the military providing cigarettes in C-Rations. Now they don’t want you to smoke even outdoors in the open air away from anyone that doesn’t smoke. Seems to me there should be a study done on how exhaust fumes from vehicles affect ones health, sitting in traffic breathing all the fumes. Oh, that wouldn’t work because they would have to ban cars and trucks. I know smoking is is not the best thing for ones well being, but there are a world of other things to, and it’s my choice if I do. Maybe since the military provided them for me when I was younger and got me addicted they should compensate us for that!!!!!!!!

      1. Sharon Grama    

        I totally agree with you on this! It’s crazy how smokers have no rights anymore but yet non-smokers have them all.

      2. Akicita Mani    

        Not just freebies in C rats. In a line unit, we got SP Packs weekly. Each platoon got TEN CARTONS of smokes per week. Also, ration cards (Viet Nam) allowed us to buy 6 cartons per month @ $2.00 per carton. That’s 2 packs a day.

        1. Mike Holland    

          Yes, in Vietnam we were given 7 packs of cigarettes a week with other ration items! Smokers also traded candy bars and other stuff to non smokers for this cigarettes! Plus there was cigarettes in our c-rations! Now we are number 10 for smoking!

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