Posted by Debra Worley - email
Writing contributed by WECT Intern Michelle Peck
CHAPEL HILL, NC (WECT) - All NC hospitals will be 100% tobacco-free as of July 6 after the NC Hospitals Association and NC Prevention Partners received an additional $250,000 grant to build model tobacco cessation system for hospitals.
The NC 100% tobacco-free hospital campus policy resulted from collaboration between NC Prevention Partners, the Duke Endowment and the NC Hospital Association .
The policy restricts tobacco use anywhere on the hospital premises including:
- parking lots
"North Carolina will pass a major health milestone next week," said President and CEO of NC Prevention Partners Dr. Meg Molloy in a statement. "We are leading the nation in tobacco-free hospitals and, with these policies in place, millions of hospital patients, visitors and employees will be protected from exposure to harmful secondhand smoke. Hospitals are natural health leaders and are setting the pace for healthy communities in North Carolina. We are grateful to the Duke Endowment and NC Hospital Association for their unwavering support."
The Duke Endowment is located in Charlotte and honors James B. Duke by improving higher education, health care, rural churches, and children's services. Since its start in 1924, the Endowment has awarded more than $2.2 billion in grants.
"We strongly support 100% tobacco-free hospital campuses," said VP at Duke Endowment Mary Piepenbring in a statement. "This project has continued to bring real results and serves as a national model. We are proud to be a partner in this important initiative and want to thank NC Prevention Partners and Hospital Association for their tireless efforts to make this possible."
The North Carolina Hospital Association is the statewide trade association. It represents 131 hospitals and health systems.
"By going 100% tobacco-free campus wide, our hospitals have taken a bold step to improve the health of every patient, visitor, and employee," said President of the NC hospitals Association William Pully in a statement. "Healthy policies make good sense and are in line with our mission to improve the health of North Carolinians. I congratulate our hospital leaders for their vision and drive to make this happen, and for serving as a model for the rest of the nation."
In addition to the policy, there is now a system that helps every hospital patient and employee currently using tobacco to quit.