MILITARY REPORT: Bassett Army Hospital goes tobacco-free

Published: Dec. 13, 2017 at 7:38 PM AKST
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For many people, taking a smoke break is a part of their everyday routine - but learning more about this habit may change your mind.

In this week's Military Report, Julia Laude shows us what Bassett Army Community Hospital is doing to its medical campus to help patients.

Wrapped into a thin stick, 4-thousand-700 chemicals enter your body every time you take a puff.

Nicolette Gabrielson; Registered Respiratory Therapist>>: "Ammonia, insect repellants, and carbon monoxide along with the tar that everybody knows about. That can be found in one cigarette, yes."

Bassett Army Community Hospital and the Army Medical Department have decided to take a stand.

As of December 1st of this year, Bassett is a tobacco free medical campus.

And the list of banned products may surprise you.

Major Kyndra Jackson; Acting Chief of Preventative Medicine, Activity Alaska>>: "Our definition of a product in our policy includes all cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco including snuff or chewing tobacco. Any electronic nicotine delivery devices, so e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes as well as any vaping devices."

And when you do stop smoking...

Nicolette Gabrielson; Registered Respiratory Therapist>>: "Your blood pressure will start decreasing, dropping back to normal. There is some damage that's already done but you can preserve what function you have, be that through exercise, through continuing to take your medications correctly and if you're already on home oxygen and along those lines, wearing that."

Some of the designated smoking area huts have been removed but due to the snow and colder temperatures, some huts will stay until June 1st.

Major Kyndra Jackson; Acting Chief of Preventative Medicine, Activity Alaska>>: "We are a health care organization so our goal to improve the health of our military communities so we need to lead by example to implement policies that promote health and healthy communities."

This initiative is also taking effect at Fort Greely and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.

This is Julia Laude reporting.