Monday, June 2, 2008
GCASA has been tobacco free since April 1, 2008
OASAS has promulgated regulations that say that all OASAS licensed programs must be tobacco free by July 24, 2008. While GCASA has been smoke free since October of 2003, GCASA implemented its tobacco free policy on April 1, 2008. Here is a copy of the letter that was sent to all GCASA referral agents:
February 1, 2008
Dear Clinic Referral Agent
As you probably know tobacco kills more Americans every year than alcohol or street drugs. 430,000 Americans die from tobacco. 100,000 Americans die from Alcohol, and 30,000 Americans die from street drugs.
Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, even though they both became sober, died from tobacco.
For reasons we don’t understand completely, people who struggle with substance abuse disorders and major psychiatric disorders use tobacco 4 times the rates of people without these disorders. We, at GCASA, are well aware that most of our clients struggle with tobacco addiction as well as problems with other drugs. Since 2003 GCASA has offered services to people who suffer from tobacco addiction.
In 2007, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS) developed new regulations which mandate that all of its licensed programs be tobacco free by 07/28/08. It is our intention at GCASA to go tobacco free by April 1, 2008.
Tobacco free means that no tobacco products or paraphernalia (lighters, clothing with tobacco product logos) can be brought onto or kept on GCASA grounds, or in GCASA facilities, and vehicles. Also, the smell of tobacco about a person’s body is not acceptable.
As of April 1, 2008 we expect clients to abide by our tobacco free policy and not bring tobacco, and/or tobacco paraphernalia onto GCASA property and/or into our facilities and vehicles. We know that tobacco addiction is a very difficult addiction for people to break and GCASA’s staff is prepared to assist anyone who desires to maintain their abstinence from tobacco through counseling, support, nicotine replacement therapy, etc.
We appreciate your attention, understanding, and assistance in helping us implement our new tobacco free policy and in creating a climate conducive to people pursuing their sobriety and recovery.
If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, feel free to discuss them with John Bennett, the Treatment Program Director, any of our Outpatient Services staff, and/or myself.
Very truly yours,
David G. Markham, L.C.S.W.