New tobacco ban takes affect at Tripler
January 21, 2014
Patients at Tripler Army Medical Center can now breathe a little easier. TAMC is a tobacco free campus after Brig Gen. Dennis D. Doyle, Commanding General for the Pacific Regional Medical Command and Tripler Army Medical Center signed a new policy into action January 1, 2014. "There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, including smoke residue that lingers on the clothes of those that return to work after smoking", said Doyle in the policy. "Therefore, to better support our medical community mission to protect the health, safety and comfort of employees, patients and visitors from the adverse health effects of tobacco products; tobacco use is prohibited on the campus".
Tobacco products include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco as well as electronic nicotine delivery devices. The policy applies to all employees, patients and visitors at the hospital. The ban extends to all roads, parking lots and sidewalks within the campus boundary lines. Tobacco use is permitted outside the marked campus boundaries with two covered shelters provided for patient, employee and visitor convenience.
The campus will retain one designated smoking area for use by Veteran Affairs patients to comply with a public law requiring VA medical centers to establish a smoking area for patients.
"Tripler's proactive adoption of a tobacco free campus puts us at the tip of the spear ", said Col. Lawrence Connell, Chief of Staff for the Pacific Regional Medical Command during a town hall addressing the new policy with hospital staff members. "The Department of Defense hopes to launch a new initiative transforming all military installations into tobacco free facilities by 2020", he said.
Connell also said hospital workers looking to kick the habit wouldn't have to do it alone. "Tripler's occupational health program will provide free Tobacco Cessation services to qualified employees, to include federal workers, who enroll before December 31, 2014".