BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – In accordance with National Directive 1085.01, the Beckley VA Medical Center (VAMC) is changing its smoking policy to further our commitment to provide a safe and healthy environment for patients, visitors, vendors, volunteers, contractors and employees.
Beginning October 1, 2019, smoking will no longer be permitted on the Beckley VAMC campus. The smoke free areas will include the Greenbrier and Princeton VA Clinics. Signs will be posted to notify all about the policy change.
The Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) smoke-free policy applies to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, any other combustion of tobacco and non-Federal Drug Administration approved electronic nicotine delivery systems, including but not limited to electronic or e-cigarettes, vape pens or e-cigars.
“This policy change is consistent with our mission to promote a healthy environment for patients, visitors and employees at our facilities and is an important element of improving our health care system,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “It will reduce the harmful effects of smoking, including exposure to second and third-hand smoke, as well as increase safety and reduce fire hazards caused by smoking.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that cigarette smoking causes about one of every five deaths in the United States each year. That’s more than 480,000 people dying from smoking cigarettes and exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking cuts life expectancy by at least five years.
Veterans interested in smoking cessation materials and help can contact their Primary Care Provider for a consult. Beckley VAMC also has Whole Health coaches who can assist in helping a Veteran chose from alternative health care options through the Whole Health Program.
To learn more about health risks associated with smoking, visit the Surgeon General’s website at https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/reports-and-publications/tobacco/index.html or https://smokefree.gov/
VHA has resources and programs to assist employees in their smoke free journey and these can be found at the following VHA website at https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/quit-tobacco/
For additional information about the policy visit https://vaww.va.gov/vhapublications/admin/ViewPublication.asp?Pub_ID=8424