WILMINGTON, Del. — The Veterans Health Administration has announced a new policy that will help make veteran health care facilities smoke-free in the coming months.
According to a press release, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will restrict smoking by patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors at VA clinics and facilities by Oct. 1.
The new policy will go in effect for the Wilmington VA Medical Center and the five outpatient clinics in the Delaware and South Jersey region, including Northfield, Cape May and Vineland.
“We want to increase the high-quality of care to our veterans by creating a smoke-free campus by eliminating exposures to secondhand smoke and other tobacco products that may present harm to our veterans,” said Vince Kane, director of the Wilmington VAMC and the surrounding clinics.
Historically, VA health care facilities did permit smoking in designated areas. The VA cites growing evidence that smoking, as well as second-hand smoke, can create significant medical and safety risks.
Restrictions will apply to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, as well as electronic tobacco devices or e-cigarettes, vape pens or e-cigars.
The Wilmington VA does provide smoking cessation classes on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m.