A reminder about tobacco use on base

  • Published
  • 28th Medical Operations Squadron
There are 33 approved designated tobacco areas (DTAs) on Ellsworth Air Force Base where tobacco products, to include e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco, can be used. 

Tobacco use in any area other than the approved DTAs and the transfer of cigarette receptacles to new areas for shade or to avoid inclement weather is strictly prohibited. 

“We’ve been noticing people misusing the DTAs. They’re either moving them closer to a door or not using them at all,” said Geri Seal, the 28th MDOS Health Promotion manager explained. 

Tobacco users are responsible for keeping the DTAs clean and free of cigarette butts and debris, and if a DTA is not kept clean, the base commander can make the choice to take it away.

Air Force Policy 40-102, Tobacco Free Living, establishes policies governing tobacco use on Air Force installations. This policy applies to all military, civilian, contractor, and non-Department of Defense personnel. Tobacco use adversely impacts health, mission readiness and unit performance. A goal for commanders and leaders is to encourage tobacco free living and decrease the supportive environments for tobacco use. 

“We went through a major revision in 2013 and got rid of some DTAs because our total focus is to go tobacco free,” said Seal.

To help those who desire to quit using tobacco products, Ellsworth AFB Health Promotion offers an evidenced-based approach to tobacco cessation.

To start the process, Airmen can call the American Lung Association at 1-877-695-7848 and indicate that they are from Ellsworth AFB. They will be able to talk to a health coach, nurse or tobacco specialist and develop a plan to quit. After it’s built, the plan is sent to Seal. She is then able to coordinate with base physicians who can prescribe tobacco cessation medication. 

This is a 12-week program with the American Lung Association where the member checks in with their coach every seven to 10 days to discuss tools to help them stay tobacco free. 

“Statistics show that when you have a tobacco cessation coach and medicine, you have a higher success rate,” Seal said. 

For any questions relating to tobacco use, call Health Promotion at (605) 385-6250.