A tobacco-free campus since 2006, Upson Regional Medical Center is expanding its tobacco use policy to include areas in and around the hospital.
Effective December 1, tobacco use of any kind, including electronic cigarettes, will be prohibited on all hospital property, including outside hospital and medical office building entrances, in off-campus buildings owned and leased by the hospital, on green spaces and parking lots, in hospital vehicles, and in cars parked in parking lots. This new policy applies to everyone, including patients, employees and visitors.
While Upson Regional has been smoke free for all employees since 2006, visitors have been able to smoke in designated smoking areas. However, as of December 1, designated areas, such as the gazebo, will no longer be.
According to Upson’s CEO David Castleberry, “A tobacco free campus fits with our mission as advocates for the health of our patients, their families and our employees. The expansion of our tobacco-free policy is another way our hospital is demonstrating its commitment to making our community healthier. Our hope is that this policy will help safeguard the health of our patients, employees and visitors.”
With the expansion of its tobacco-free policy, Upson joins national and state efforts to reduce the negative health effects of tobacco use on the community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Nearly 500,000 Americans die of illnesses related to tobacco use each year.
“This decision was made with support from our governing board, physicians and hospital staff, and we are thankful for their exemplary leadership and dedication to this important initiative. We ask for our community’s full support in adhering to our tobacco-free policy as we work to create a healthier hospital environment,” said Castleberry.
Sallie Barker is the Communications Director for Upson Regional Medical Center.