On November 19, 2009, Barnesville Hospital implemented a completely tobacco and smoke-free environment policy. Smoking and tobacco use is prohibited both indoors and outdoors on all properties owned by the hospital. As a result of this transition, the following questions may be raised regarding the smoke free environment.
- Why did the hospital do this?
As a health care leader, Barnesville Hospital has made a commitment to create a healthier environment for everyone who uses our facility including employees, patients and visitors.
- Why was smoking selected versus other health risks?
- Tobacco use and smoking is a factor in the top four causes of death.
- Patients who smoke regularly before surgery have twice the risk of wound infections as non-smokers.
- Smoking retards wound healing.
- A smoker’s broken bones take almost twice as long to heal as a non-smoker’s.
- Over 430,000 people die prematurely each year from smoking related diseases.
- How does this policy differ from the previous smoking policy?
Our previous policy prohibited smoking inside the hospital, but allowed patients, visitors and staff to smoke outside in designated areas. Effective November 19, 2009 the new policy prohibited smoking/tobacco use anywhere on hospital owned grounds including Barnesville Medical Center, East & West Annexes, Morristown Clinic and Pharmacy.
- Are there other hospitals that have a similar policy or plan to implement such a policy?
In Ohio, 85% of all hospitals have tobacco-free campuses. The national trend for hospitals toward becoming a tobacco free environment is growing and we wish to be a leader in this initiative.
- What does this mean to our hospital staff?
As of November 19, 2009, smoking and tobacco use was prohibited anywhere on our hospital grounds.
- What kind of support are we providing to those who wish to stop smoking?
Smoking cessation classes are offered free to employees. If you are interested contact Jeff Britton, Director of Cardiopulmonary and Physician Relations, of Barnesville Hospital at 425-5144.
- How do we educate our patients, our visitors and the public?
We will provide information and educational materials about this initiative. We will work closely with Leadership Team, employees, volunteers, contracted staff and medical staff to educate our patients and their families.
- Will patients be able to go off campus to smoke?
Patients are not be able to leave the hospital campus. Support will be provided, but for safety reasons, patients must remain on hospital property.
- Why don’t we just have designated smoking areas?
Eliminating smoking eliminates chronic exposure of non-smoking inpatients and staff to second-hand smoke at our facility. It supports those who are trying to quit and eliminates odors on staff that come in contact with the patient. The smell of smoke is a trigger for those trying to quit or remain smoke-free while they are here. We need to effectively eliminate triggers that make smoking cessation difficult.
- Isn’t smoking a personal legal right?
Smoking is a legal right just as is use of alcohol containing products by persons of legal age. We prohibit the use of tobacco containing products on hospital property just as we do for alcohol. Non-smoking persons have the right to not be harmed by second hand smoke, and it is our responsibility to protect these people.
- Won’t this policy just send the smokers to restrooms, stairwells and cars?
While this potential exists, the hope is that all will embrace the efforts to sustain a healthier environment for patients, families and associates. It is our responsibility to help each other, our patients, and visitors in this process.
- Given the stress that families face during hospitalization, how does this policy support our goals of patient and family centered care?
Our intent is to intervene, educate and heal through the smoking cessation resources that will assist patients and family members when they are here. Patients and families will have access to counselors if they wish to work toward smoking cessation and/or acquiring techniques to help make their stay more tolerable. QUIT kits with hard candies, gum, and educational materials will be provided free for those who need assistance.
Smoking Cessation Program at Barnesville Hospital
According to the Ohio Department of Health, 70 percent of Americans who smoke say they want to quit. But they often can not do it on their own. Barnesville Hospital can play an important role in assisting both employees and community members with quitting smoking through the effective counseling, support and pharmacotherapy’s offered in a smoking cessation program.
What does the smoking cessation program at Barnesville Hospital consist of?
- Cessation intervention by trained clinical staff including all aspects of tobacco cessation as outlined by the American Lung Association and the latest Clinical Practice Guidelines for treating tobacco use and dependence. The cessation program will last for a total of 6 weeks.
- First line pharmacotherapy drugs:
- Nicotine patches
- Nicotine gum
- Chantix (varenicline)
- Timely person-to-person cessation counseling and treatment by a trained cessation specialist. The format for cessation counseling and treatment may also consist of but not limited to group, telephone or individual face-to-face sessions.
Who is eligible for the smoking cessation program?
- Employees of Barnesville Hospital and its subsidiaries wishing to quit smoking
- Community members wishing to quit smoking
What does the smoking cessation program cost?
With most insurance providers not covering the cost of smoking cessation programs, the cost of the program and any pharmacotherapy drugs will be the responsibility of the patient. The cost for the 6 week program will be $50. The patient must register and pay for the program prior to participating.
Employees f Barnesville Hospital can participate in the smoking cessation program at no cost for the 1st time but still must register prior to participating.
Any pharmacotherapy drugs recommended with the program or prescribed by a physician will be the responsibility of the community member and/or their insurance carrier. Employees may receive their pharmacotherapy prescriptions for $0 co-pay if filled by Morristown Pharmacy. A $300 maximum lifetime benefit will be assigned to each employee for their smoking cessation pharmacotherapy.
What are the requirements to enroll in the smoking cessation program?
- You must have a valid prescription from your physician to participate in the smoking cessation program.
- A committed desire to want to quit smoking and improve your health.