23rd MDG to become tobacco-free July 1

  • Published
  • By Capt. Meagan Bender
  • 23rd Medical Group
One of the major contributing factors to disease and illness in the military is the use of tobacco products. Tobacco use is inconsistent with a fit and healthy force and continued use of tobacco will result a reduction in mission readiness.

With this in mind, Moody's medical treatment facility will become a tobacco-free campus effective July 1. Tobacco use will be prohibited for all personnel, to include military, civilian and contract employees of, as well as all patients and visitors.

The Center for Disease Control has shown lost duty time from smoking in the Air Force amounts to 3,573 full-time equivalents per year - equal to the loss of an Air Force Wing. Air Force fitness data shows increased run times for smokers compared with nonsmokers.

Health data indicates smoking impairs night vision, reduces physical endurance and increases the time it takes for wound healing. Tobacco also harms long-term health and second hand smoke threatens wingmen, friends, and family.

The revised Air Force Instruction 40-102, "Tobacco Use in the Air Force" will call for a decrease in the number of designated tobacco use areas on our base. This instruction will also require all medical treatment facilities to become tobacco-free campuses by the end of calendar year 2011.

The decision to make Moody's medical treatment facility tobacco-free effective July 1 will keeps us consistent with the 23rd Medical Group mission of "maximizing the medical readiness of Team Moody and effectively serving the healthcare needs of our military family."

In order to ensure maximum deployment ability, promote healthy lifestyles, protect nontobacco users, improve worker productivity, and lead by example, tobacco use restrictions (smoking and smokeless tobacco) will begin on the MDG campus. This has been directed by the Air Force Surgeon General and AFI 40-102.

Patients identified as tobacco users at medical appointments will be offered education and will be informed about the services the Health and Wellness Center offers in regards to tobacco cessation education. The HAWC offers tobacco cessation classes weekly and are open to active duty members, dependents, retirees, civilians and contract employees. The HAWC also offers one-on-one counseling.

Tobacco cessation medications are available free for active duty members, dependents and retirees who quit through the HAWC by utilizing the Moody Quit Line at 1-877-695-7848. These medications include Chantix, Zyban (Wellbutrin) and nicotine patches. For active duty members, a mobility limiting profile will be generated for Chantix or Zyban use for 90 days. If member is tasked, medication may be stopped with duty clearance within 48 to 72 hours.

Please contact the HAWC at 229-257-4292 for more information about Moody's tobacco cessation program and how we can help you quit the habit for good.