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Tobacco cessation is encouraged aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to ensure Marines and Sailors are healthy and mission ready. The surgeon general’s warning is on every tobacco product, and shows the dangers of using their products.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Samantha Torres

Tobacco cessation aboard the Air Station

17 Jul 2015 | Lance Cpl. Samantha Torres Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

It is the responsibility of the Marines and Sailors to care for themselves and each other to maintain good health and a professional appearance for mission readiness.

Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort or­der 6200.2 states the dangers of tobac­co use, and the benefits of prevention and cessation programs. The order also informs personnel about designated and off-limit smoking areas aboard the Air Station.

“From the health standpoint, it’s a horrible thing,” said Kathy Williams, the health promotion coordinator of Marine Corps Community Services.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death, and can lead to diseases and disabil­ity, and causes more than 480,000 deaths in the United States annu­ally, including second hand smoke.

“Second hand smoke is just as bad as first hand smoke, especially for young children and babies whose lungs have not fully devel­oped yet,” said Williams.

There are over 4,000 ingredients in a single cigarette. The key in­gredient that causes addiction is Nicotine.

“Nicotine is one of the hardest drugs to kick,” said Williams. “It’s more addictive than cocaine or heroin.”

Chewing tobacco, or dip, can be more addicting than cigarettes, because of its direct contact with the soft tissue in the mouth, said Williams.

The effects of tobacco use on the body are dangerous. With today’s technology it makes it easier to in­form the world about the harm it can cause.

“When commercials about the side effects and the dangers of tobacco came out on TV, we had an increase in people attend our tobacco cessation class,” said Wil­liams. “It’s graphic, and people were really paying attention to it.”

Tobacco cessation classes are offered every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., to active duty service members at the Branch Medical Clinic aboard the Air Station.

“Just like those who don’t smoke, people who quit develop a heightened sense of smell and sensitivity to smoke, and didn’t realize how bad they smelled prior,” said Williams.

The American Cancer Society offers programs and advice for tobacco cessation, and can help those willing to quit.

Before stopping to go buy an­other pack, think about how tobacco use can affect mission readiness and overall health.