Huntsville Hospital To Go Smoke-Free In 2013

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Information provided by Huntsville Hospital

Huntsville Hospital has announced that it will go smoke-free in February 2013. The new policy applies to all of the hospital’s facilities and properties in Huntsville and Madison County.

In addition, neighboring HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, located across Governors Drive, is joining the initiative as well. Madison Hospital opened last month as a smoke-free campus.

“As the health leader in our community and region, it’s the right thing to do,” said David Spillers, hospital CEO. Spillers said the new policy will apply to everyone and includes smokeless tobacco products as well.

“The evidence is overwhelming on the health impact of tobacco products. The Center for Disease Control points to smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in our nation. More than 440,000 people died from it last year. Second hand smoke led to the deaths of nearly 50,000 people from heart attacks. It’s time that we join the fight by becoming smoke-free,” he said.

The hospital has already started communicating the policy to its employees and will develop comprehensive plans in the coming months to make patients and visitors aware of the change. Huntsville Hospital currently provides designated smoking areas outside its facilities.

“We want to do everything that makes sense to help smokers quit,” said Spillers. “Certainly we’ll offer more smoking cessation classes. We will include smokers and non-smokers in helping us implement the new policy.”

“We know this is a significant step toward making our campus and our community a healthier place,” he concluded.