Fort Bragg is doing its part in helping advance the Department of Defense’s goal of having tobacco-free installations by 2020.
Several events took place in observance of the Great American Smokeout, Nov. 17, including positioning Army public health nurses at different locations across Fort Bragg to promote tobacco-free living, said Karen M. Goepfrich, tobacco treatment specialist, Department of Preventive Medicine.
In compliance with this year’s “Quit like a Champion,” theme, health professionals worked to encourage smokers to quit for one day, which could lead to permanently quitting.
From the Soldier Support Center to the Mini Mall and the Preventive Medicine Building (1-2539 Hamilton St.), health care employees promoted tobacco-free living with distribution of sugar-free gum and candy, bracelets, stress balls, leaflets and other material.
According to Goepfrich, additional smokeout activity entailed a briefing to Maj. Gen. Paul LaCamera, deputy commanding general, XVIII Airborne Corps and acting senior commander Fort Bragg, about tobacco-free living and the Great American Smokeout.
“The commander has a significant role in establishing a tobacco-free workforce and tobacco-free campuses,” said Goepfrich, who also briefed the Community Health Promotion Council, charged with raising health awareness.
Using tobacco products impacts readiness through a decreased Army physical fitness test score, increased heat and cold weather injuries, increased sick call visits, increased training injuries, reduced night vision and negatively-affected visual motor skills, Goepfrich explained.
Overall, recent data indicates that Fort Bragg Soldier’s self-reported tobacco use is 25 percent.
Steps to take to quit include chewing sugarless gum or hard candy, drinking plenty of water, going for a walk and spending time with non-smoking friends and Family. (See www.smokefree.gov).
Additionally, tobacco cessation resources remain available across Fort Bragg at various primary and outlying clinics, such as Clark, Joel, Robinson, and Byars, as well as Linden Oaks and Fayetteville Medical homes, among other locations. No appointment is necessary.
Medications are available thereafter, as well as additional classes to deter relapse.
For more information, visit the Department of Preventive Medicine, Building 1-2539 Hamilton St., call 907-9355 (WELL), option 4, or visit www.wamc.amedd.army.mil/HealthcareServices/SitePages/Tobacco%20Free%20Living.aspx.