Tobacco free living is not only avoiding the use of all tobacco products but also living free from second hand smoke exposure. Tobacco use in the Army has become a high-profile issue because of its negative impact on Soldiers ability to accomplish the mission. This is the reason tobacco cessation is a major component of the Army Surgeon General’s Performance Triad and the Department of Defense goal for tobacco free installations by 2020.  Since tobacco use is both a health and readiness issue Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) provides Soldiers, all beneficiaries and DAC employees with effective interventions to become tobacco free.WAMC’s first step toward a tobacco free campus was to prohibit active-duty servicemembers from using tobacco products on all WAMC campuses last January 2013.

In January, this was extended to include all patients and visitors. Tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, smokeless tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.  There are only three designated tobacco use areas/shelters at WAMC for the exclusive use of bargaining unit employees, but they are out of sight to visitors.

Increasing the access of tobacco cessation services is paramount to the success of creating a tobacco-free environment.  Seven different clinics offer tobacco cessation classes and primary care providers are authorized to provide medications to assist their patients quit attempt.

For more information call your primary care clinic or Public Health Nursing at 907-WELL (9355) option 4 or visit WAMC’s Tobacco Use Cessation webpage.

Servicemembers are speaking out against tobacco in the  “Fight the Enemy” video competition. Participants created videos showing how smoking degrades the overall health and readiness of our forces.

Check out the videos on the MHS YouTube channel and “Like” your favorites.

The  video with the most likes will be awarded the Voters’ Pick. Voting closes on March 14.

All winners will be announced on March 19, in conjunction with National Kick Butts Day.