05/25/08 — Wayne Memorial Hospital to go completely smoke-free July 1

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Wayne Memorial Hospital to go completely smoke-free July 1

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 25, 2008 2:01 AM

Come July 1, Wayne Memorial Hospital will enforce a tobacco-free policy that applies to everyone -- employees, physicians, vendors, patients and visitors.

More than 75 percent of acute care hospitals in North Carolina have implemented similar policies. Wayne Memorial will join 119 hospitals participating in North Carolina's Healthy Hospital initiative.

The announcement came earlier this year without much fanfare, and administrators at the local hospital hope the enforcement will be carried out the same way.

"We can do this in a professional and respectful manner," said Rick Rogers, vice president of human resources. "We are not here to tell everyone that they have to stop smoking. We are simply asking that people not use tobacco products while on the hospital campus."

Patients who use tobacco products will be offered assistance during their stay, Rogers said. The hospital also expanded its tobacco cessation programs to assist staff with the transition.

"As a community health care provider, we certainly want to do whatever we can to promote healthy lifestyles for our staff and the community," Rogers added. "If we can help some of our staff members to quit using tobacco products then that becomes an added bonus.

"But we also want to be respectful of everyone's personal choices. We are here to help."