March 6, 2014
By Mrs. Melissa K Buckley (Leonard Wood)
Tobacco is tobacco, no matter how it's being used.
"Smokeless tobacco use in our facilities, offices and buildings will continue to be an issue, if we as Soldiers, civilians, retirees and Family members constantly turn a blind eye to the problem," said Sgt. 1st Class Frederick Brown, Fort Leonard Wood assistant inspector general.
Smokeless tobacco, often referred to as spit tobacco, chewing tobacco, chew, chaw, dip or plug, comes in two forms -- snuff and chewing tobacco.
According to the Fort Leonard Wood Inspector General's office, tobacco use on post is guided by Army Regulation 600-63, Army Health Promotion, paragraph 7 to 3a, which states: "Tobacco use is prohibited in all Department of the Army occupied workplaces except for designated smoking areas, as authorized by DODI 1010.15, Smoke-Free DOD Facilities. The workplace includes any area inside a building or facility over which DA has custody and control, and where work is performed by military personnel, civilians or persons under contract to the Army."
This restriction applies to Soldiers, DA civilians and contractors and the designated smoking areas will be at least 50 feet from common building doorways.
"As leaders it is our duty to enforce the standards to ensure all Soldiers comply with the written guidance described in all Army Regulations. Soldiers at all levels are aware that the use of tobacco products in all forms are prohibited, however some individuals choose to look the other way when it comes to smokeless tobacco," Brown said. "We are also required to make 'on-the-spot' corrections regarding any violations that are noticed."
Army Regulation 600-63 also states that the use of tobacco products is prohibited at all Child, Youth and School Services facilities and sports fields, except in designated areas out of the view of children and youth.
There is even a regulation specifically for drill sergeants and instructors.
Training and Doctrine Regulation 350-6, Enlisted Initial Entry Training IET Policies and Administration, paragraph 2 to 11a, states: "All cadre and Soldiers with permanent party privileges are prohibited from using tobacco products in areas where IET Soldiers are likely to observe use."
Brown said people caught using smokeless tobacco in prohibited areas may be subject to several penalties.
"The penalty depends on the nature of the violation and the status of the offender. Military personnel may be subject to a variety of administrative or disciplinary actions for violating an Army Regulation to include smokeless tobacco use. Civilian personnel can be subject to possible disciplinary actions. Repeat violations also can result in the removal of personnel from activities or barring them from activities or installations," Brown said.