The Department of Veterans Affairs is outlawing smoking, vaping and other forms of tobacco use at its health care facilities across the country in an effort to better treat and protect patients, the agency announced Monday.
“Although VA has historically permitted smoking in designated areas, there is growing evidence that smoking and exposure to secondhand and thirdhand smoke creates significant medical risks, and risks to safety and direct patient care that are inconsistent with medical requirements and limitations,” the department said in a news release.
The full ban will be implemented by October and includes cigarettes, cigars and pipes, as well as e-cigarettes.
Natalie Gross has been reporting for Military Times since 2017. She grew up in a military family and has a master's degree in journalism from Georgetown University.