St. Mary’s to implement tobacco-free campus

Published 11:28 pm Saturday, February 19, 2011

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — St. Mary’s Medical Center is going tobacco-free on June 27.

After this date, no tobacco use of any kind will be permitted — inside or outside — on medical center property.

All St. Mary’s buildings are already smoke-free, but this change will include the elimination of three outside designated smoking areas on the campus currently used by patients, visitors and employees.

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As a healthcare organization, in conjunction with nation-wide healthcare reform focusing on disease prevention, St. Mary’s officials say they are committed to the health and safety of its employees and patients.

St. Mary’s representatives say the hospital has a responsibility to take a leadership role on this major health issue and establishing the entire campus as tobacco-free firmly supports that belief.

In addition, many insurance providers are limiting reimbursements to hospitals whose campuses are not tobacco-free.

Many people in the Tri-State die each day from smoking and tobacco is the root cause of many illnesses and lost productivity.

The U.S. Surgeon General has confirmed that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is a serious health hazard.