January 5, 2011
By Valerie A. Kremer, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) became a tobacco-free compound, Jan. 1, in time for the start of the new year.
The use of tobacco products, including all forms of smokeless tobacco are now strictly prohibited on the Potomac Annex property, including electronic nicotine delivery devices (e-cigarettes).
"E-cigarettes, which are not approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), are not an acceptable substitute for tobacco cessation," said Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr.
Robinson outlined guidance to all Navy medical personnel regarding the safety of e-cigarettes in policy memo 6200 dated Oct. 1, 2010.
"Those wishing to quit their tobacco use and wish to use medications should use FDA-approved nicotine replacement products such as nicotine gum, skin patches, lozenges, oral inhaled products, or nasal sprays," said Robinson. "These products are available to aid in a successful tobacco cessation program."
Leading up to the campus-wide smoking cessation, BUMED employees attended town hall meetings on the topic, which provided a variety of options and information to aid in quitting tobacco use.
During the past several months, several Navy Medicine facilities have gone smoke free, an action applauded by Robinson in alignment with establishing a fit and healthy force.
"As Navy health care providers, we can evoke positive and meaningful change through our own actions," said Robinson. "Implementation of tobacco-free environments sends a powerful and effective message encouraging our Sailors, Marines, retirees, family members, staff, and community to be healthy."
For more information on smoking cessation, go to the Naval Medical Public Health Center site at http://www-nehc.med.navy.mil or contact a smoking cessation program available at many Navy Medicine medical treatment facilities (MTFs).