In support of the organization’s commitment of Be Tobacco Free, Bay Pines VA Health System tightened tobacco used restrictions October 1 at the main Bay Pines VA Medical Center campus in St. Petersburg, and in all places of outpatient clinic.
The restrictions come as part of an update of tobacco use and health policy relevant campaign to promote smoking cessation designed to move the organization to 100% tobacco-free environment. The new policy came into effect on July 1.
The revised policy prohibits tobacco use system of any kind of employees, patients, contractors and visitors to all Bay Pines VA owned or leased property, except in designated smoking areas. Bay Pines be Tobacco Free campaign continued efforts to raise awareness of the effects of tobacco use through education and the promotion of smoking cessation resources and support.
Dr. Glenn Rechtine, associate chief’s personnel in the field of education, Bay Pines VAHCS, said he hopes to dramatically reduce tobacco consumption of the system as a result of the efforts of policy and subsequent execution.
“This is an important and necessary step for the health of our veterans, their families and all of our dedicated health workers and workers who visit and work here,” said Rechtine. “As a public institution charged with the health and welfare of the heroes of our nation, it is our duty to ensure favorable conditions for health and healing. Offering a health care setting, which is virtually free from tobacco, we are limiting exposure to second-hand smoke a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and other serious complications, and it is an important trigger for those who are trying to quit smoking. “
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More Americans die every year from diseases associated with tobacco, than died in both theaters of World War II. Smoking causes 20% of all deaths each year. Half of all smokers will die from smoking-related diseases.
“We take our responsibility as a steward of our veterans’ health seriously,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, director, Bay Pines VA. “From the direct-patient treatment we provide in our medical center in the multifaceted outpatient services we provide to our clinics, our goal is to ensure that our veterans are healthy as they can be. This updated policy and a renewed focus on smoking cessation support that goal “.