Children’s Hospital took an important step on July 1, 2010 joining more than 50% of hospitals nationwide in becoming smoke and tobacco free. The change is part of an ongoing commitment to provide a healthy environment for everyone on the Children’s Hospital campuses.
Children’s is committed to provide a safe and healthy environment for patients, employees, physicians and volunteers. Tobacco use is a major known health risk for both children and adults. It not only affects the tobacco user, but also their family members and those they come in contact with every day. In the past Children’s permitted smoking in designated exterior areas, which sent a mixed message about the health issues surrounding smoking and tobacco use. Having a smoke and tobacco free environment will more closely align Children’s with a commitment to provide a healthy environment for everyone.
The smoke and tobacco free designation means that everyone including employees, physicians, volunteers, students, patients, visitors, vendors, contractors and others who work in or visit Children’s Hospital facilities must refrain from smoking or using any tobacco products on the campuses. Ultimately, it will impact everyone in a positive way by creating a healthier smoke and tobacco free environment at Children’s Hospital.
Smoking or use of tobacco products will not be allowed anywhere on Children’s Hospital properties, including outdoor areas and parking lots, as well as off-site and satellite facilities. Employees or visitors who choose to smoke or use tobacco products will need to leave the hospital properties to do so.
Children’s Hospital realizes this will involve change for patient families as well as staff, physicians and volunteers. The wellbeing of patient families is one of the reasons that Children's Hospital is transitioning to a smoke and tobacco free environment. Still, there may be patient family members who smoke and may not feel comfortable leaving Children’s Hospital to do so. The Walgreen’s pharmacy located at Children’s Hospital is assisting by providing options to help curb the need for tobacco products and keep these families comfortable. They will have nicotine gum available for purchase during regular pharmacy business hours. Walgreen’s has also provided Children’s with Smoker’s Comfort Packs that can be provided to families when Walgreen’s is closed.
Children’s has been contacting families of existing patients over the past few months, but still expects there will be a time of transition after the new policy goes into effect. Cards will be distributed at building entrances reminding visitors that Children’s is now smoke and tobacco free, in addition to new signage at all facilities.