Pied­mont New­ton hos­pi­tal to be­come to­bacco, smoke-free cam­pus

The Covington News - - LOCAL - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­news.com

As a com­mu­nity hos­pi­tal, it is our job not only to re­store the health of pa­tients who come to us for help but to pro­tect them from things that are harm­ful to their health like sec­ond­hand smoke.” — Nor­ris Lit­tle, Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Pied­mont New­ton

Pied­mont New­ton Hos­pi­tal will be a to­bacco and smoke-free cam­pus start­ing Nov. 17.

The hos­pi­tal will ex­pand its smoke-free pol­icy, ex­tend­ing to­bacco-pro­hib­ited ar­eas to out­side on hos­pi­tal grounds.

“Years of re­search have shown us how dan­ger­ous the ef­fects of smok­ing are to one’s health,” said Nor­ris Lit­tle, M.D., chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer of Pied­mont New­ton. “As a com­mu­nity hos­pi­tal, it is our job not only to re­store the health of pa­tients who come to us for help but to pro­tect them from things that are harm­ful to their health like sec­ond­hand smoke.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety, 42 mil­lion Amer­i­cans — 1 in 5 adults — smoke cig­a­rettes.

Pied­mont New­ton’s new pol­icy, which ap­plies to all em­ploy­ees, physi­cians, pa­tients, vis­i­tors, vol­un­teers, con­trac­tors and ven­dors, is an ex­pan­sion of the ex­ist­ing pol­icy which pro­hibits the use of to­bacco in all build­ings. Un­der the new pol­icy, smok­ing will be pro­hib­ited near all en­trances and on hos­pi­tal walk- ways, grounds, park­ing lots and in any ve­hi­cles parked on Pied­mont New­ton Hos­pi­tal prop­erty.

“We cer­tainly rec­og­nize that peo­ple have the right to choose to con­tinue smok­ing, de­spite all the health risks the habit poses to one’s health,” Lit­tle said. “But, for the health and safety of our pa­tients and em­ploy­ees we can no longer al­low to­bacco use on our cam­pus.”

To as­sist Pied­mont New- ton Hos­pi­tal em­ploy­ees and com­mu­nity mem­bers who may elect to stop smok­ing, Deb­bie Pringle, a cer­ti­fied smok­ing in­struc­tor, will pro­vide a one-hour, four-week smok­ing ces­sa­tion class. The classes will be held weekly on Thurs­day evenings at 6 p.m., start­ing Oct. 20 and end­ing on Nov. 17. Classes will be held at Pied­mont New­ton Hos­pi­tal’s chapel, lo­cated right off the main hos­pi­tal lobby. To learn more about how to quit smok­ing and for ad­di­tional re­sources, visit can­cer.org/healthy/stay­awayfrom­to­bacco/guideto­quit­tingsmok­ing/in­dex.

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