BAMC now tobacco-free medical campus

Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs
Story by Elaine Sanchez

Date: 02.04.2016
Posted: 02.09.2016 09:58
News ID: 188324

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Brooke Army Medical Center became a tobacco-free medical campus Feb. 1, joining an effort that’s sweeping medical facilities across the city, state and nation.

Patients, staff members and visitors to BAMC can no longer light up, chew or use any other tobacco product on the facility’s campus. The building and the grounds, to include the parking lot, are tobacco-free, meaning all tobacco products -- cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipes – are prohibited.

“The harmful effects of tobacco are the leading cause of preventable death and chronic illness in the United States today, and there is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke,” said Dr. Jackie Hayes, pulmonologist and physician champion for BAMC’s tobacco cessation program. “The tobacco-free campus initiative will allow us to provide a location that is safe from these known hazards for our beneficiaries, visitors and staff.”

The medical campus includes all property owned, operated, maintained or leased by BAMC, to include the hospital and outlying facilities on Fort Sam Houston. Parking lots are considered part of the medical campus, and tobacco use is not permitted in private vehicles on the medical campus property.

In accordance with Army Regulation 600-63 and Air Force Instruction 40-102, all forms of tobacco are prohibited, including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, all vaping devices, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco.

“We are proud to be tobacco free and promote a healthy environment for our patients, staff and visitors,” said BAMC Commander Col. Evan Renz. “As a system for health, becoming tobacco free is the right thing to do and demonstrates our commitment to health and wellness.”

To help staff comply with this policy, BAMC has expanded its tobacco cessation support and services to beneficiaries and BAMC’s civil service staff members. To register for tobacco cessation services, contact BAMC Health Promotion by calling 916-7646/7543.