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Tampa veteran's hospital rolls out complete smoking ban — including vaping

Posted at 5:36 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 04:50:52-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A veterans hospital is Tampa is rolling out a complete smoking ban on Tuesday.

Army Veteran Paul Rose is feeling better than he has in a long time.

A big part of that is because he’s cut way down from his two-pack-a-day smoking habit.

“I’ve quit a couple of times and things seem to pop up in my life and I’m not giving up on it," said Rose.

Rose comes to Tampa’s James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and he says he’s taking advantage of programs they offer to help him stop smoking.

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“I used to come here and I used to smoke a pack while I was here.”

This VA hospital and all others around the nation are about to take a big step.

Next week, smoking and vaping will be completely banned from the campus.

There will no longer be designated smoking areas outside.

Dr. Dawn Johnson works with veterans here to stop smoking.

“There’s nothing more important you can do for your health than to quit tobacco," Johnson said.

They use a combination of counseling, medication and support.

“And the more you use those, the more likely you are to succeed," Johnson said.

Doctors say the policy change is designed to protect non-smokers from exposure.

As for Paul, he's not only is cutting cigarettes, but he’s dropping weight too.

He says 18 months ago he weighed 300 pounds.

“I have lots of people here that are supporting me.”

The VA hospital smoke free policy starts Tuesday.

To learn more about health risks associated with smoking, visit the Surgeon General’s website here or