Magazine article VFW Magazine

Bill Would Ban Smoking at VA Facilities

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Bill Would Ban Smoking at VA Facilities

Article excerpt

A bill pending in the House would prohibit smoking in and around VA medical facilities. If approved, H.R. 1662 would include electronic cigarettes and "any other combustion of tobacco" in the ban. The bill is one of 10 that VFW Legislative Associate Kayda Keleher testified about in March before the House VA Committee's Subcommittee on Health. While VFW does not have a position on H.R. 1662, Keleher did remind the subcommittee members that the current law, the Veterans Health Care Act of1992, requires VA to establish and maintain "a suitable indoor area in which patients or residents may smoke."

The proposed legislation would nullify that law. The ban on indoor smoking would begin 90 days after enactment and prohibit smoking outdoors on the grounds of VA medical facilities beginning in October 2022. Keleher said this would "require a significant lifestyle change" for the estimated 1,845 vets who smoke and reside in VA community living centers. …

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