Under new Air Force rules, smoking is no longer permitted in many areas on base, including hospitals, clinics, parking lots, sidewalks and playgrounds.
The Air Force Times reports these areas are also off limits for tobacco chewing, dipping and sniffing, as well as e-cigarettes, hookahs or pipes. These products only can be used in designated areas.
Smoking within 200 feet of a medical facility is now forbidden, including the facility’s parking lots and lawns. Smoking on the way to a designated tobacco area is not allowed. These areas must be at least 50 feet from building entrances and exits, parking lots and sidewalks, and at least 100 feet from playgrounds.
According to the policy, which went into effect March 26, the ultimate goal is a tobacco-free Air Force. “Tobacco use degrades the state of military readiness and the health of military personnel,” the policy states.
The article notes almost one-fourth of Air Force personnel smoke, which is higher than the national average of about 20 percent. Approximately 25 percent of Air Force hospitals already have a smoke-free policy in place. The remaining medical facilities will have 18 months to implement the new policy.
Previously, Air Force bases were required to have designated tobacco areas, but were given no guidance about where they should be located.