DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Department of Veterans Affairs has banned smoking on all VA facilities and grounds across the nation.
This includes the Dayton VA Medical Center and Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Richmond, Indiana and Springfield, Middletown and Lima, Ohio, according to a press release.
This policy affects more than 50,000 veterans living in the Dayton area and thousands more that work at and visit the VA Campuses.
“We’re not telling folks they can’t smoke anymore we’re just telling them they can’t smoke here,” explained Dr. Tom Hardy, Chief of Staff at the Dayton VA.
“This applies to everyone that is here. So whether you’re a veteran, a family member, an employee, a vendor, a contractor delivering bread, the UPS man…nobody is allowed to smoke anywhere on the Dayton campus.”
The policy bans all combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, matches, lighters, and lighting fluid.
On Tuesday, the VA recognized these steps foward with a wellness walk.
“This is a huge step towards a healthier veteran population,” said Hardy.
“Smoking is the single biggest preventable healthcare risk that we have.”
First time violators will receive a verbal warning but additional infractions can result in fines from the Dayton VA police.
If you’re looking for help to stop smoking, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recommends speaking with a primary care provider to learn about VA resources to assist you.
Also, visit smokefree.gov for free information and assistance to help people permanently stop smoking
SmokfreeVet is a mobile text messaging service to help Veterans who get their healthcare through the VA to quit smoking. Sign up online or text VET to 47848.
It is also possible to call 1-855-QUIT VET for assistance in quitting.