The U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range McAfee Health Clinic is now a Tobacco-Free campus. Both patients and employees are no longer allowed to smoke within the clinic’s perimeter, including the exterior.
The Tobacco Free Living Campaign began earlier this year with the goal of having tobacco free medical campuses by April of 2016. McAfee kicked-off the campaign July 23.
“We want to create a healthier environment because we all know smoking is bad for you. This is to increase our overall health. We want to make sure we’re practicing what we preach,” said McAfee Deputy Commander for Nursing Maj. Katie Rivera.
Prior to beginning the campaign, a policy was presented to the employee union without any need for negotiation. Within the Army, military members who smoke and work in healthcare cannot do so during duty hours.
“I’m kind of surprised when I see someone who does smoke. (The initiative) is a good thing and I always encourage patients and non-patients to stop smoking and ask them if there’s anything I can do to help,” said McAfee Deputy Commander for Clinical Services Lt. Col. Leonard Grado.
The campaign provides patients with a healthy environment for them to receive their care and a place to obtain information about tobacco prevention, incremental tobacco reduction and tobacco control.
“I think it’s a good idea and is something the medical profession should address. I feel like McAfee’s always done a good job of advertising (tobacco free benefits),” said Jesse Casiano, a McAfee patient.
The campaign will soon be implemented across the Medical Command board. According to campaign guidance, tobacco free communities help promote the overall health of military personnel, family members, retirees and all employees within the central region campuses.
“Tobacco use and smoking-related diseases are the leading causes of devastating, yet, preventable and reversible health-related diseases in the United States,” Rivera said.
For more information on how to stop smoking visit www.quitnownm.com or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.