Piedmont Newton Hospital will be a tobacco and smoke-free campus starting Nov. 17.
The hospital will expand its smoke-free policy, extending tobacco-prohibited areas to outside on hospital grounds.
“Years of research have shown us how dangerous the effects of smoking are to one’s health,” said Norris Little, M.D., chief medical officer of Piedmont Newton. “As a community hospital, it is our job not only to restore the health of patients who come to us for help but to protect them from things that are harmful to their health like secondhand smoke.”
According to the American Cancer Society, 42 million Americans — 1 in 5 adults — smoke cigarettes.
Piedmont Newton’s new policy, which applies to all employees, physicians, patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors, is an expansion of the existing policy which prohibits the use of tobacco in all buildings. Under the new policy, smoking will be prohibited near all entrances and on hospital walkways, grounds, parking lots and in any vehicles parked on Piedmont Newton Hospital property.
“We certainly recognize that people have the right to choose to continue smoking, despite all the health risks the habit poses to one’s health,” Little said. “But, for the health and safety of our patients and employees we can no longer allow tobacco use on our campus.”
To assist Piedmont Newton Hospital employees and community members who may elect to stop smoking, Debbie Pringle, a certified smoking instructor, will provide a one-hour, four-week smoking cessation class. The classes will be held weekly on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., starting Oct. 20 and ending on Nov. 17. Classes will be held at Piedmont Newton Hospital’s chapel, located right off the main hospital lobby. To learn more about how to quit smoking and for additional resources, visit cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index.