Milwaukee VA Medical Center
Smoke Free Milwaukee VA
Our Stories - Helping Others Quit
"I smoked on and off since I was about 16 yrs old. I quit every time I was pregnant (3 times) but eventually I restarted, no special reason why. I attended smoking cessation classes at the VA and also used Chantix and quit for five years and restarted at a Super Bowl game. No matter how bad I wheezed or how often I got bronchitis I continued smoking.
On October 13, 2015, I got up one night after lying in bed. I was short of breath walking 4 feet wheezing with bronchitis. I asked myself “What are you doing to yourself?” You’re 53, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister and an aunt with so many loved ones who care about you. I decided to quit cold turkey and I never went back! I can honestly say I have not once cheated nor have I gotten sick with bronchitis again.
I did it for ME FIRST and my loved ones are so happy I did." - Kim L.
Milwaukee VA Tobacco Policy Letter - Sept. 13
from Daniel S. Zomchek, Medical Center Director
The Clement J. Zablocki VAMC is changing our tobacco policy to further our commitment to provide a safe and healthy environment for Veterans, visitors, and employees. Updating this policy allows our facility to meet The Joint Commission’s requirements. The policy covers all tobacco products and smoking materials, including, but not limited to:
- “Spit" or “chew” tobacco
- E-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes
- Cigars and/or pipes
- Lighter fluid
- Any other form of tobacco
Beginning September 1, 2018, inpatients on portable oxygen therapy will only be permitted to leave the inpatient ward for designated appointments with an approved escort. As a reminder, any patient on oxygen is not allowed to smoke. This helps prevent harm to you and others.
Beginning November 1, 2018, inpatients and patients who are having a procedure will not be allowed to use any type of tobacco or smoking materials during their stay. Nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patch, lozenges, or gum) will be available to inpatients as medical conditions allow.
Beginning January 1, 2019, tobacco use of any kind will no longer be permitted on the VA campus for inpatients, patients who are having a procedure, employees, and non-Veteran visitors. Only outpatient Veterans will be allowed to smoke in designated smoking areas.
Veterans and visitors are strongly encouraged to leave all tobacco and smoking materials at home. Some areas may require materials to be stored during your visit. This is to reduce the risk of ignition near oxygen or other flammable gases used in our facility.
By Congressional law, a smoking shelter will remain available for outpatient Veterans only. Those in our residential treatment, Community Living Center, and transitional residence programs will have limited access to designated smoking areas. Maps with designated smoking areas are available at the East Entrance Information Desk.
The VA Medical Center offers tobacco treatment services for Veterans. If you would like more information about tobacco treatment, please contact your Primary Care Team.
Thank you for serving our country and allowing us to care for you.
Daniel S. Zomchek, Ph.D., FACHE
Medical Center Director - September13, 2018