HONOLULU -- (October 17, 2016) Tripler Army Medical Center, also known as TAMC, has added a tobacco-free living dimension to the current medical command order of establishing a tobacco-free campus.

The new addition includes tobacco prevention, incremental tobacco reduction and control.

What this means for patients and visitors to TAMC is there will only be two designated areas where smoking or use of any tobacco products is permitted. Both of these areas are outside of the hospital and away from patient care facilities.

Enforcement of the policy began on Oct. 1, with the goal of providing a safe environment for patients to receive care, improve the health, wellness and productivity of the Total Army Family and to create a momentum of transforming the Army culture towards becoming tobacco-free.

Facilities affected on Oahu are TAMC, Regional Health Command-Pacific, Dental Health Command-Pacific and Public Health Command-Pacific. It applies to all military, civilians and contractors assigned to and working for U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM). This includes patients, vendors, volunteers, students and visitors to all MEDCOM facilities.

The tobacco products covered in the order include: Cigarettes, cigars and pipes; smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco and snuff); and electronic nicotine delivery devices (e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes).

There will be a phased implementation for all employees that are not on active duty. However, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, employees will only be allowed to smoke and use tobacco products during their unpaid lunch period.

Although most of TAMC employees are non-tobacco users, the TAMC commander is committed to improving the health of all staff, which is why employees will be offered free, command-sponsored, tobacco cessation services, including counseling, education and pharmaceuticals. Active duty personnel can obtain tobacco cessation support from their patient centered medical home or Army Public Health Nursing.

"We have a fantastic program inside preventive health for smoking cessation, and it shows very good results," said Col. Andrew Barr, commander, TAMC, during a recent town hall. "What we have found over time is that both in the group and individual setting, and with the help of medications, we can help a lot of folks quit smoking."

Employees will receive a one-time tobacco cessation service consisting of four visits over a three-month period. The window to use these services is from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017.

For more information on obtaining smoking cessation services, contact your primary care manager at (808) 433-2778 to schedule an appointment.