Great American Smokeout on Thursday marked the first day of
ALMH's smoke-free campus initiative. All affiliates of Memorial
Health System joined the effort, including Family Medical Center,
Logan Mason Rehab, Lincoln Medical Equipment and Logan Mason Mental
Health in Lincoln.
Memorial Medical Center and St. John's Hospital
in Springfield have also declared their campuses smoke-free.
ALMH's mission is to maintain, restore and improve the health of
the people and communities they serve. "Allowing tobacco use on this
campus simply is not consistent with our mission," says Woody
Hester, hospital president and chief executive officer.
Not only is smoking the leading cause of death in the U.S., but
secondhand smoke is a common cause of lung cancer, asthma and heart
disease among adult nonsmokers.
"Our patients, visitors and staff shouldn't have to breathe
smoke-filled air as they come and go from the ALMH campus," says
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For fire prevention reasons, smoking has not been allowed inside
the hospital building since 1992. A patio area behind the hospital
served as the smoking area for employees and visitors.
Now, the only people smoking on the ALMH campus must do so inside
the privacy of their personal automobiles. Hospital administrators
allowed this exemption to keep smokers from congregating on city
Employees who violate the new policy will be disciplined.
Visitors observed smoking will be presented with a card politely
explaining the reason for the change.
Memorial Health System employees were first notified of the
impending change last May. System affiliates offered numerous free
or low-cost smoking cessation resources to assist employees trying
to quit. Available methods included hypnosis, auricular therapy,
nicotine patches and support groups.
Lincoln Memorial Hospital news release from Marty Ahrends,
executive director of community development]