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BRMC campus to become tobacco free

Posted on: 02/10/2017

Effective March 1, 2017, the campus of Bradford Regional Medical Center, member hospital of Upper Allegheny Health System, will be tobacco-free. The policy will apply to everyone who works or visits the BRMC campus or any facility operated by BRMC. BRMC will join the majority of hospitals across the country, including Olean General Hospital, in becoming a tobacco-free campus. OGH has been a tobacco-free campus since 2007.

“As a healthcare organization we have an obligation to promote health,” said Timothy Finan, president of Upper Allegheny Health System, BRMC and OGH. “BRMC currently has a policy prohibiting smoking by employees and physicians on the hospital campus. This tobacco-free policy extends the smoking ban to everyone on the campus and to any satellite facility operated by BRMC,” Finan said.

The tobacco-free policy will apply to all tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco and includes electronic and vapor smoking devices. The policy will extend to all facilities owned and operated by BRMC, including the Bradford Dental Center, Women’s Services, Smethport Health Center and Mt. Jewett Health Center. The policy includes all building entrances, parking areas and green space down to the street on all sides of the hospital. Appropriate signs will be posted around the BRMC campus.

Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and smoking is closely linked to cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other life threatening, according to the American Cancer Society. Tobacco use kills more than six million people annually, thirty percent of whom will die from cancer related diseases due to smoking.

“The results of smoking are tragic to those who pay a terrible price in terms of their health, but smoking also translates to a tremendous financial cost,” Finan said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Americans collectively spend more than $300 billion, which includes nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke.

“Our hospitals see the tragic results of tobacco use every day,” Finan said. “Creating a total tobacco-free campus has become an expectation for hospitals.”

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