'Designated Tobacco Areas' established base-wide

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Shaw AFB has taken another step in increasing mission readiness and promoting unit health for its 8,200 Airmen and Soldiers.

Recent Air Force Instruction 40-102 mandated that each Air Force installation be completely tobacco-free, except for locations marked as "Designated Tobacco Areas." Tobacco products include, but are not limited to, cigars, cigarettes, electronic-cigarettes, stem pipes, water pipes, hookahs, and smokeless products that are chewed, dipped, or sniffed. The instruction also clearly states that workplaces, government vehicles, aircraft and the entire medical campus remain tobacco-free.

Privatized housing is not subject to the new AFI.

While the goal of the instruction is a tobacco-free Air Force, it does not require Airmen to quit use of tobacco. The wing commander has approved more than 50 clearly marked locations across base that allows the use of tobacco. A prominent location that is not marked but considered as a designated tobacco area is the entire golf course.

Nicotine replacement therapies, such as gum or pills, are still authorized across the installation when used as a method of cessation.

The 20th Civil Engineer Squadron has clearly marked all designated areas with a standard brown sign for tobacco use. Once all signage has been placed, the policy will be fully implemented and enforced.

Anyone using tobacco and thinking about quitting is reminded that the Shaw Health and Wellness Center has multiple programs in place, and can be reached at (803) 895-1216.