Tobacco use limited on Yokota beginning in 2013
YOKOTA AIR BASE - In an effort to minimize the adverse impact of tobacco use on health, mission readiness and unit performance, Yokota will begin implementing a new installation-wide tobacco policy with the new year.
The policy prohibits the use of tobacco products except in designated tobacco areas and housing units. At Yokota, this will also include the athletic fields, Par 3 Golf Course and Tama Hills.
"Yokota's policy on tobacco use has changed to align with the Air Force's new policy, as outlined in AFI 40-102, Tobacco Use in the Air Force," said Maj. Stacy Van Orden, Health and Wellness Center Flight commander. "We chose to begin this at the beginning of the year to promote New Year's resolutions and a healthier force. It also gives us time to phase out current unapproved designated tobacco areas (DTA's) and create the required signage."
Important to note is that this policy limits the use of all forms of tobacco. This includes cigars, cigarettes, electronic-cigarettes, stem pipes, water pipes, hookahs and smokeless products that are chewed, dipped or sniffed.
Although full implementation of the policy is slated for completion April 1, 2013, Team Yokota will begin to see changes as soon as Jan. 1.
Some of these changes will include the removal of non-approved DTAs, the posting of signs at approved DTAs and additional tobacco cessation classes at the Health and Wellness Center.
New designated smoking areas will be established and advertised prior to the policy implementation.
According to the American Lung Association, tobacco use is a serious problem in the U.S. military. Smoking is one of the best predictors of military training failure, and smokers are more likely to sustain injuries. The Department of Defense also pays around $1.6 billion per year due to tobacco related medical care, increased hospitalization and lost days of work.
Base residents and their families interested in quitting tobacco have a number of resources available to them. Yokota's Health and Wellness Center (225-8322) offers tobacco-cessation classes, primary care providers at the 374th Medical Group can prescribe medicine to help ease the transition off tobacco, and the DOD-run website http://ucanquit2.com contains a wealth of other resources.
Additional information on Yokota's new policy can be found at the following question and answer link.
Changes and updates will be released as they become available at www.yokota.af.mil.