HOSPITALS PLAN TO GO SMOKE-FREE|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please contact:
Northern Nevada Medical Center
Kim Stoll, 356-4933, email@example.com
Nicole Shearer, 772-5191, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center
Gary Aldax, 779-3126, email@example.com
RENO, Nev. (June 25, 2009) – Officials from Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Health and Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center announced they are working to make all of their healthcare facilities completely smoke and tobacco free. In a joint effort to breathe easy, the hospitals have decided to take action against the single biggest preventable contributor to poor health – smoking.
This collaboration between the community’s health providers will not only improve the physical health of our community, it will also improve the quality of healthcare patients receive. While each organization will be working on its own implementation schedule, all will be working together to plan the processes and share best practices.
Although area hospitals have been smoke-free for many years, smoking has been permitted in designated areas outside of the facilities. These designated smoking areas will be eliminated over the next few months to ensure protection from both first- and second-hand smoke.
“Inhaling smoke, first or second-hand, is a life threatening behavior that does not belong in or near the healthcare facilities that are dedicated to saving lives,” said Jim Miller, Renown Health president and CEO. “Through implementation of this policy we are sending a message to the community that we want our patients, visitors and healthcare providers to breathe easier and adopt better healthcare habits.”
“The dangers of tobacco products are well documented and we feel this is the right decision to make,” said Mike Uboldi, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center president and CEO. “As healthcare providers, we are dedicated to healing and saving lives. We are concerned with the total health of our patients, not just for the illness or injury that may have placed them in our care.”
“It’s our responsibility to model and encourage the health, safety and welfare of our employees, physicians and patients,” said Mark Crawford, CEO of Northern Nevada Medical Center.
According to the American Cancer Society, the use of tobacco products is linked to 440,000 preventable deaths a year. The American Cancer Society also reported that in Nevada alone it was estimated there were 1,850 new lung and bronchus cancer cases in 2008. Not only does smoking exponentially increase a patient’s risk for developing lung cancer and other diseases, like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but it also puts them at higher risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, kidney, cervix and stomach. Smoking also elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and insulin resistance.
All local hospitals are working toward the health and well-being of the northern Nevada community. The decision to go smoke and tobacco-free is not an attempt to force anyone to quit smoking, rather, the initiative is a concrete way for hospitals to demonstrate their commitment to healthy living.
Realizing this new policy may be difficult for some, all hospitals offer smoking cessation programs for patients and employees. Another resource for people who want to quit smoking is the Nevada Tobacco Users Help Line 1-800-QuitNow (784-8669), and the free online program www.get-quit.com.