Anne Arundel Medical Center has adopted a new policy that prohibits use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. And next year, the hospital plans to stop hiring anyone who uses tobacco products.
The hospital has banned cigarette smoking on campus since 2007, like many hospitals, but the new policy in effect July 1 was expanded to include the smokeless products. And there will be no designated smoking areas in garages or on sidewalks.
The policy applies to staff, as well as vendors and visitors.
“Going tobacco-free is a global public health goal,” said Dr. Stephen Cattaneo, medical director of thoracic oncology in the DeCesaris Cancer Institute at the medical center. “Smoking and tobacco use are the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. We are not only dedicated to the preservation of health and prevention of disease, but we also want to provide a safe and healthy work environment and promote the health and well-being of our employees, visitors and patients.”
Dr. John Martin, the center’s medical director of vascular surgery, said the hospital was practicing what it preaches. And to help staff and community kick the habit, it offers tobacco cessation resources, including classes, one-on-one sessions and nicotine replacement therapies for free or reduced cost.
The doctors said that other prominent medical centers have adopted such smoke-free policies.