Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center going completely smoke-free on campus

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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Smoke-free VA Hospitals will soon become the new norm.

VA hospitals are completing this transition by October 1.

"We're just thrilled to announce this transition to a smoke-free campus for all of our veterans as well their guests, our employees, venders, contractors and volunteers here on site,” said Chief of Voluntary Services, Katie Maxon.

This means no use of tobacco or smoking anywhere on VA Medical Center property, not even outside.

Currently at the VA Hospital Veterans and workers may only use tobacco in designated areas or smoking shelters. This allows it to be as far away from the hospital as possible.

Now, the hospital wants the smoke even further away for the safety and well-being of those who work or attend there.

Maxon said going smoke-free has been a trend with many state and national businesses.

"So actually it's a great opportunity for us to really take a step forward and join a lot of other organizations that have already developed this."

Clinical Psychologist and Health Behavior Coordinator, Doctor Brenda Reed said this has been a long time coming.

"I know it's been a debate for a long-time anything that I can do to help encourage people to get the services that they need to help them be successful."

This transition may be difficult for some which is why the hospital offers help.

"So for both employees and Veterans we do provide some products or medications available as well as behavioral counseling,” said Reed.

This new smoke-free rule will go into effect on October 1.

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