As of Nov. 21, Erlanger Health System will be completely tobacco-free.
Since March 2009, one area on Erlanger properties has been reserved for guest smoking. But to become tobacco-free, the use of all tobacco products will be prohibited within three blocks of Erlanger campuses, physicians' offices, medical facilities, parking lots and garages, and inside vehicles parked on the properties starting next month.
"We chose Nov. 21, Great American Smokeout, to honor those who are making the decision to live tobacco-free," Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, Erlanger Health System president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "As a tobacco-free workplace, we are committed not only to our patients’ health but also to the employees and partners who work here."
Tobacco products include but are not limited to cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes and any device used to convey tobacco smoke (such as electronic cigarettes).
"As the region’s leading health care system, Erlanger continues to serve as a prime example for health in our communities," Erlanger’s Chief Medical Officer James Creel, M.D., said in a prepared statement. "While we are encouraging our patients to make healthy decisions and appropriate lifestyle changes, it is only fitting that our employees, volunteers, physicians, vendors and contractors we partner with also take the necessary steps to make it a healthy and safe working environment."
Those who work, visit or partner with Erlanger will be offered information on smoking cessation products, and a free program will be available.
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