JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Naval Health Clinic Charleston on Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station, made the commitment to become an entirely tobacco-free command March 1, 2013. This tobacco-free initiative aligns with the Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy Surgeon General's guidance in assisting and encouraging all tobacco users to stop tobacco use.
As a healthcare facility, NHCC leadership felt they had an obligation to provide a healthy, tobacco-free environment for NHCC's patients and staff.
"We were concerned there might be some opposition to the new policy," said Navy Capt. Richard Joralmon, NHCC acting commanding officer. "I'm happy to report that those concerns were almost entirely unfounded and the reaction to the tobacco-free policy has been overwhelmingly supportive. We were determined to follow through on this decision, regardless of reaction, because it was the right decision. However, patients and staff members have made it easy to follow through because they have been so supportive."
Many health care beneficiaries who are seen at NHCC for their health care needs echoed the captain's opinion.
"I think the whole world should be tobacco-free," said Reginald Cox, an NHCC patient and retired chief petty officer. "I used to smoke and I quit. I think most smokers would actually like to quit but they can't. Going tobacco-free here is a great idea. Maybe it will motivate someone to quit for good."
The tobacco-free policy also applies to cigars, pipes and all smokeless tobacco products including dip, chewing tobacco, and snuff.
To make the transition as easy as possible, the clinic's certified tobacco treatment specialist is providing group and individual tobacco cessation counseling to patients and staff. NHCC can also provide free phone and internet resources.
"This is, and continues to be, an important milestone in our journey towards a healthier workplace and healthier clinic," said Claudia Dion, NHCC Health Educator and Certified Tobacco Treatment specialist.
Naval Health Clinic Charleston staff and beneficiaries are encouraged to call NHCC at 794-6910 if they have any questions or concerns about going tobacco-free.