Delray Medical Center will become a smoke-free campus effective January 1, 2010. Smoking or tobacco use will no longer be permitted on any part of the hospital campus.
"We’re very excited to create a completely tobacco-free environment here at Delray Medical Center,” said Audrey Gregory, Chief Nursing Officer. “With the many health risks of smoking, we’re pleased to be setting an example for our staff, patients and community that smoking is a dangerous health hazard.”
“At Delray Medical Center, we’re always working to set a higher standard of healthcare for not only our patients, but our staff and visitors, as well as the surrounding community,” said Robert Krieger, Delray Medical Center Chief Executive Officer. “We hope to protect those who come to our hospital from secondhand smoke, as well as help smokers quit by providing them with the best tools and quality support that they need.”
Secondhand smoke is classified as a “known human carcinogen” (cancer causing agent) by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization. Secondhand smoke can be harmful in many ways and the 2006 Surgeon General’s report reached several important conclusions:
· Secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and adults who do not smoke
· Secondhand smoke immediately affects the heart and blood circulation in a harmful way and contributes to heart disease and lung cancer
· There is no “safe” level of exposure to secondhand smoke
· Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and acute respiratory infections
In addition, according to the American Cancer Society, in the United States alone, secondhand smoke is responsible for 35,000 annual deaths from heart disease in non-smokers who live with smokers, and about 3,400 annual lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults.
In order to support the smoking ban, Delray Medical Center will offer their employees a free smoking cessation course in addition to providing resources available through Healthy At Tenet, Cigna Medical Provider and offering online and telephone coaching.
“In order to help our employees take the first step to a smoke free lifestyle, we have been providing them with a seven week Smoking Cessation Course taught by the American Lung Association,” Gregory said. “We know choosing to quit is difficult,” Gregory said, “and it is important we continue to offer our support.”