Sustainment Center of Excellence establishes new tobacco, vaping policy

By Alyssa CrockettFebruary 18, 2021

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FORT LEE, Va. – To “reduce health risks for military personnel and their families,” the Combined Arms Support Command has issued a new policy that restricts the use of e-cigarettes/vaping and tobacco products here.

The document signed Feb. 4 by Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, explains why the measure was enacted. “The Army (recognizes) that the use of tobacco products … harms readiness by impairing physical fitness and increasing illness, absenteeism, premature death and health care costs,” a background paragraph reads. “Readiness is enhanced by promoting the standard of a tobacco-free environment that supports abstinence (and discourages use).”

Considered a “lawful order,” the policy warns that violations by those in uniform could result in punitive action under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. The policy applies to “all military personnel assigned or attached to CASCOM, the Army garrison and any others accessing the installation.”

All organizational elements – to include active Army, Reserve components and Army Civilian personnel –that occupy space on or in conveyances, offices, buildings or facilities over which the Army has custody control, space assigned by the Government Services Administration or space contracted from other sources will comply with the policy, it emphasizes.

The use of tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes and other inhalants designed for human consumption is prohibited, except in designated areas. The prohibition also includes vaping any substance that contains CBD. Team Lee members are highly encouraged to read the related article (found at about the DOD’s prohibition of CBD products

CASCOM Policy 21-01 states designated use areas will not be located on or within the grounds of any of the following:

- Parks and playgrounds, defined as any parcel of open land used for recreational activities or equipped with play structures such as swings or water features.

- Child and Youth Services facilities and grounds. Included in this restriction is “sidewalks, parking lots and grounds external but adjacent to CYS buildings or related to the corridors surrounding those facilities and youth activity areas.”

- All instructional facilities and training areas. Similar to CYS, the restriction applies to adjacent sidewalks, parking lots and grounds. Special emphasis is placed on “locations where formal enlisted training is accomplished within the advanced individual training environment prior to the award of any military occupational specialty.” The policy further states that “cadre and faculty of any school will not use tobacco or vaping products in the presence or view of students while on duty.”

- Firing ranges, ammunition storage areas, fuel dumps, motor pools and equipment maintenance shops. This list is not exclusive.

- Any property or non-residential building that is operated, maintained or assigned to support medical or dental activities.

- Wellness areas to include gyms, facilities where the primary use is performing fitness activities, and public areas where organized physical training is performed. It likewise includes adjacent sidewalks and grounds.

While the restriction does not apply to “private use areas” such as homes in any of the privatized family housing neighborhoods, the policy does specify that Family Child Care providers will abide by rules during hours of operation. Buildings operated by the IHG Army Hotel group are exempt.

The new policy also specifies that “users of tobacco and vaping products will not be allowed additional time beyond routine breaks” while they’re at work. It then directs supervisors to monitor their personnel and “initiate appropriate administrative action” for noncompliance.

Oversight of the new policy has been tasked to the Community Health Promotion Council under the direction of Kenner’s Health Promotion Office, 804-734-9304. The KAHC Tobacco Cessation Program is available to Team Lee members who are addicted to nicotine products. For further information, call 804-734-9249.