Kick the habit! Adverse effects of smoking
By Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 26, 2018
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- According to the Center for Disease Control in the U.S., tobacco prevalence is higher among Americans currently serving in the military than among the civilian population. When paired with the adverse effects of smoking, especially in undesignated areas, this issue includes increased risks to health and potential for legal reprimand.Also from the CDC, cigarette smoke contains a deadly mix of 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are harmful and can cause cancer. Tobacco use increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by two to four times.
Research shows that over time, smoking cessation lowers stress levels, decreases depression symptoms and aides in mood improvement. The ability to exercise at full potential is stifled due to arteries within the heart narrowing. This not only reduces blood flow to heart muscles but also to other organs within the body.
Smoking can affect an individual's fitness regimen as well as to loved ones around them. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work have an increased risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.
“Smoking in housing and dorm areas exposes surrounding residents who choose to live a healthy lifestyle to the hazards and nuisance of secondhand smoke,” said Jack Buchman, the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron housing management element chief.
While exposing others to the risks associated with the habit, understanding the legal ramifications surrounding smoking could prevent service members some difficulties.
Senior Airman Jamel Smith, a 35th Fighter Wing Judge Advocate civil law paralegal, says service members and civilians could face actions under the Misawa Conduct Adjudication Program, ranging from verbal counseling to barment from the installation.
“Active duty members who fail to obey the set-forth instruction in reference to smoking outside of a designated smoking area directly violate Article 92 of the UCMJ,” said Smith. “Failing to obey a lawful regulation applies to all parties involved. Individuals accompanying the U.S. Armed Forces in Japan have an obligation to act responsibly during their stay as well. They have a duty to maintain a safe and secure environment on Misawa AB and abide by the laws of the United States and Japan."
There are options for Misawa members looking to kick the habit. If interested in quitting, contact your primary care manager or a primary care behavioral health professional at DSN 226-6372.