ALTOONA – The Altoona Regional Health System has issued a reminder to the community about its tobacco-free policy that will take effect Jan. 1.
There are two components of the policy that have been designed to create a safer environment for patients and a healthier overall workforce:
First, there will no longer be designated areas on owned or leased hospital property for smoke or smokeless tobacco use (including electronic cigarettes) by employees, physicians, volunteers, contractors, vendors, patients or visitors. All must leave hospital property to use tobacco products.
Secondly, the Altoona Regional will no longer hire people who use tobacco products.
Altoona Regional joins a nationwide trend that includes almost 70 Pennsylvania hospitals with tobacco-free medical campuses. Patients who smoke will be invited to speak with their physician or nurse about options that are available while they are in the hospital.
“We strongly believe this is the right thing to do for our community,” said president and chief executive officer Jerry Murray. “Tobacco use is unhealthy for the users and those around them. As a health care system, our mission is to model healthy behaviors.”
For more information, visit www.altoonaregional.org/tobaccofree after Jan. 1.