The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) recently announced as part of their commitment to provide excellent health care for Veterans, under VHA Directive 1085, the department will implement a new policy restricting smoking by patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors at its health care facilities by October 1, 2019.
Although VA has historically permitted smoking in designated areas, there is growing evidence that smoking and exposure to secondhand and thirdhand smoke creates significant medical risks, and risks to safety and direct patient care that are inconsistent with medical requirements and limitations. Accordingly, VA’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has collaborated with key stakeholders to update and recertify the policy to be consistent with the department’s commitment to Veterans and the community.
“We want to increase the high-quality of care to our Veterans by creating a smoke-free campus by eliminating exposures to secondhand smoke and other tobacco products that may present harm to our Veterans,” said Director Vince Kane who oversees the Wilmington VAMC and its five outpatient clinics in Delaware and southern New Jersey.
The Wilmington VA Medical Center and it’s five outpatient clinics include Dover and Georgetown, Delaware and Northfield, Cape May and Vineland, New Jersey are scheduled to go smoke-free by October 1.
VHA’s new 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.
If you are a Veteran and want to stop using nicotine products contact the VA Quit Line at 855- QUIT-VET (855-784-8838), or text, “VET” to 47848.
The Wilmington VA Medical Center offers smoking cessation classes every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in room 7070 on the seventh floor to eligible Veterans, no consult needed.
For additional smoking cessation resources visit https://veterans.smokefree.gov/.