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Middletown Regional Hospital to Join Other Greater Cincinnati Hospitals Adopting Tobacco-Free Campuses in January

On January 1, 2007, 20 hospitals in the Greater Cincinnati region will take a collective leadership role in improving the health of their communities by making their entire campuses tobacco-free. Middletown Regional Hospital has joined 19 other hospitals in Greater Cincinnati that have made the commitment to foster a healthier environment by prohibiting tobacco use on hospital campuses.

"Hospitals are the leaders in healthcare treatment, and with this important step they are showing their commitment as leaders in disease prevention as well," said Colleen Allen, Greater Cincinnati Health Council tobacco-free hospital campus project coordinator. "With the recent release of the Surgeon General's report on the harmful affects that secondhand smoke has on both smokers and nonsmokers, it is even more important for hospitals to step up their role to eliminate health hazards and promote healthier lifestyle choices. It is wonderful that Middletown Regional Hospital has elected to be a part of this collective effort that will undoubtedly increase the health status of Southwest Ohio."

All forms of tobacco products will be restricted from use on hospital campuses. The tobacco-free area will extend to all property owned by the hospital, indoors or outside. This policy will apply to all staff, patients, visitors, guests, vendors, volunteers, contractual workers, and the general public.

The 20 Greater Cincinnati hospitals and health systems that have committed to implement a tobacco-free policy by January 1, 2007 include;

  • Adams County Hospital*
  • Brown County Regional HealthCare
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Dearborn County Hospital
  • Health Alliance
    • The Christ Hospital
    • Drake Center
    • The Fort Hamilton Hospital
    • The Jewish Hospital
    • The University Hospital
  • Margaret Mary Community Hospital
  • McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital
  • Mercy Health Partners of Southwest Ohio
    • Mercy Hospital Anderson
    • Mercy Hospital Clermont
    • Mercy Hospital Fairfield
    • Mercy Hospital Mt. Airy
    • Mercy Hospital Western Hills
  • Middletown Regional Hospital
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • Cincinnati Burns Hospital TriHealth
    • Bethesda North Hospital
    • Good Samaritan Hospital

*Policy begins September 2006.

"As a healthcare provider, we recognize that tobacco use is a serious health risk to the user, as well as to anyone breathing the same air as the person smoking," said Douglas W. McNeill, president and CEO of Middletown Regional Hospital. Employees will not be required to quit smoking. "However, to help employees who do want to stop using tobacco products succeed, over the next several months we'll be offering proven tools, including nicotine replacement therapy, educational material and support programs. We'll also be offering the American Lung Association's smoking cessation program Freedom from Smoking to employees and the community," McNeill said.

Additional information on cessation programs throughout Greater Cincinnati is available by contacting Colleen Allen at the Greater Cincinnati Health Council (513) 531-0267.

Tobacco-free policies provide a healthy environment for everyone involved with hospital care. Studies show that it is also more likely that a person will have a successful quit attempt if their employer enacts a tobacco-free policy. A tobacco-free workplace is consistent with the mission of all healthcare institutions in that it works to improve the overall health of the community that it serves. It is especially important for hospitals to promote tobacco-free campuses since tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, tobacco use contributes to the leading causes of death, patients who smoke regularly before surgery have twice the risk of wound infection, smoking retards wound healing, a smoker's bones take nearly twice as long to heal as a non-smoker's, secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals of which 50 are known carcinogens, among other reasons.

Individuals with questions about the implementation of this policy are asked to call their area hospital for more information.

The Greater Cincinnati Health Council works in harmony with Tristate hospitals and other health providers to promote high quality, cost-effective health care in the community. Since 1957, the Council has represented hospitals in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. The Council is a recognized resource for information about area hospitals and the complex issues facing the health care industry.