St. James Campus to be Tobacco Free February 1, 2010
December 11, 2009
As of February 1, 2010, St. James Healthcare will no longer permit smoking or the use of tobacco products anywhere on its property. This includes all indoor and outdoor locations on the main hospital campus.
“Our hospital is dedicated to healing and preventing illness,” said CEO Chuck Wright. “This policy change supports our mission to improve the health of the individuals and communities we serve. Becoming totally smoke free is important in promoting and encouraging healthy lifestyles, and it will create a healthier environment for everyone on our campus – even before they come through our doors.”
For many years, St. James has prohibited smoking within its facility, and it now joins hospitals across the nation and throughout Montana that have eliminated the use of tobacco on their property. This policy will apply to all patients, visitors, medical staff, employees, and others who visit or do business on any property owned by St. James.
“Smoking contributes to 30 percent of all cancers and nearly 90 percent of lung cancer deaths,” said Dr. John Stevenson, St. James Healthcare’s radiation oncologist. “This new policy will heighten awareness of the health risks of tobacco use and be an incentive for people to quit.”
Those who want to quit smoking or chewing tobacco can call the Montana Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to talk with a Quit Specialist to get them started. Callers can learn how to receive Chantix at a reduced cost, or free replacement therapy, such as patches, gum, or lozenges.
Tobacco use kills more people every year than motor vehicle accidents, alcohol, suicide, homicide, AIDS, and illegal drug use combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to second-hand smoke can cause lung cancer, heart diseases, and respiratory disorders, and research is now being done on the effects of third-hand smoke, the residue that remains in smokers’ hair and clothing and in carpets and cushions long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room.