Lakeland to be totally smoke-free

Published 11:07 am Friday, May 12, 2006

By Staff
ST. JOSEPH - Lakeland will join a growing number of hospitals and business that have completely eliminated the use of tobacco and smoking on their campuses.
The new smoke-free policy will include all Lakeland leased and owned properties, including the parking lots at each facility. Associates, visitors, contractors and volunteers will not be allowed to use tobacco products in their personal vehicles while the vehicle is on Lakeland property.
For associates with an interest in quitting, Lakeland began offering nicotine replacement therapies free of charge on April 17.
Associates and volunteers who smoke have free access to the patch, NRT gum and Zyban prescriptions until Aug. 14, 2006. Support groups and Make it Through the Day classes are also being offered.
“We're not asking our associates to stop smoking all together, but we will require them to support the policy by abstaining from using tobacco products while they are on any of Lakeland's campuses,” said Emil Gallay, Chairman, Smoke-Free Campus Committee. “We're giving our associates and volunteers access to free nicotine replacement therapies and smoking cessation education. If they're interested in quitting, we're going to provide the resources to make that happen.”
Lakeland's no smoking policy will comply with national guidance on smoke-free environments in hospitals. This change means that all of Lakeland's premises and adjacent areas will be ncluded in the parameters of the smoke-free policy. Any visitor, volunteer, patient or vendor observed using tobacco products will be informed of the smoke-free policy.
Nicotine replacement therapies will also be made available to hospital patients during their stay. Prior to hospitalization, patients are encouraged to discuss nicotine replacement therapies with their physician. Nicotine replacement gum will be available in the hospital gift shops.
“We understand that the implementation of this policy may be difficult for some of our patients, visitors and associates,” said Wasserman.