On September 26, 2011, Memorial Hospital will join hospitals across the nation and in the state of Kentucky in becoming a tobacco free campus. Already a smoke-free building, the hospital is updating its policy to include a ban on tobacco products on hospital-owned property. The new policy will apply to all employees, patients and visitors.
“As a healthcare provider, we are committed to providing a healthy and comfortable environment for everyone who visits our campus,” said Dennis Meyers, President/CEO of Memorial Hospital. “We have a responsibility to ensure the health of our patients not only in the treatment of disease but also in its prevention.”
According to the American Cancer Society, smoking is responsible for nearly one in five deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors, smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in our society.
Each year about 440,000 people die in the United States from illnesses related to cigarette smoking. Cigarettes kill more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined. In addition, smoking is the major cause of heart disease, aneurysms, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke, and it contributes to the severity of pneumonia and asthma.
“We are all familiar with the staggering statistics regarding the effects of smoking on our health,” said Meyers. “Taking this action, however, is less about the general statistics and more about doing our part in helping our community and its families become and stay healthy.”