November 18, 2010
Weber and Davis Hospitals, Health Departments
Unite to Announce Tobacco-Free Hospitals
OGDEN -- Several Northern Utah hospitals are transitioning to tobacco-free campuses, health officials announced today in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.
The initiative prohibits the use of tobacco products anywhere on the hospital campuses and affiliated clinics of Ogden Regional Medical Center, McKay-Dee Hospital Center in Ogden, Davis Hospital and Medical Center and Tanner Clinic in Layton and Brigham City Community Hospital as of Jan. 1, 2011. The plan involves all tobacco products, not just cigarettes. Patients and employees are encouraged to contact the Utah Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUITNOW, to talk to a personal quit coach about nicotine replacement therapy and how to get started on a tobacco-free future.
This year marks the 35th Annual Great American Smokeout, the day the American Cancer Society has set aside to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit or to even quit smoking for just one day. Health educators and hospital officials have been collaborating for the past year to develop cessation materials to help employees, patients and visitors become aware of the free resources to help them be successful.
“As health care professionals, we realize that tobacco use is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, several cancers, respiratory and other diseases. We see the harmful effects of tobacco use every single day at our hospital,” says Mark Adams, CEO of Ogden Regional Medical Center. “Becoming a tobacco-free campus is strongly aligned with our mission to promote wellness and healing in our community, and may actually help those who smoke to quit.”
Health officials lauded the Weber and Davis-based hospitals for enacting this policy jointly because it sends a consistent message to patients, visitors and employees that they will be free from secondhand smoke and other tobacco effects no matter what hospital or clinic they visit. There are neighborhoods within the region that are home to some of the highest smoking rates in the state.
“We enthusiastically applaud and support our local hospitals in taking this bold step to promote tobacco-free environments,” said Weber-Morgan Health Department Director Gary House. “Hospitals serve as a role model of healthy environments within the community. These policies showcase our hospitals’ role as community leaders in protecting the health of the public and motivate others to do likewise.”
According to Lewis Garrett, director of the Davis County Health Department, “We’re very happy to see these hospitals and clinics join the expanding efforts within Davis and Weber counties to keep more outdoor locations free of harmful tobacco smoke. Becoming tobacco-free campuses also promotes the extensive efforts underway to reduce individuals’ dependency on nicotine-laden smokeless tobacco products. This is good news for patients, visitors and employees of these facilities.”
Throughout the week, hospitals and health departments will be distributing free “quit kits” containing information on creating an individual quit plan and details on free resources available to those who want to stop using tobacco.
- Individuals who sign up for the Utah Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUITNOW, between Nov. 18-25, will receive a $5 Subway® gift card along with a quit kit as part of a statewide “Quit Cold Turkey” campaign.
- Mountain Star Health will help cover the costs for employees of its Ogden and Brigham hospitals who complete a 12-week tobacco-cessation program.
- The Health and Wellness Center at Hill Air Force Base is also offering tobacco cessation classes and a challenge, where non-smokers can mentor smokers by joining a cessation class together to help him, or her, quit.