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Miami Valley and Good Samaritan Hospital Campuses To Go Smoke and Tobacco Free On Independence Day

June 27, 2007 – Miami Valley and Good Samaritan hospitals will become smoke and tobacco free on Independence Day, July 4, 2007.

The hospitals, which are operated by Premier Health Partners, will ban smoking and the use of tobacco products on their campuses and properties.  These include Miami Valley South Health Center, which will open in October, and Good Samaritan North Health Center. The policy applies to all employees, physicians, patients, visitors, contractors, vendors, volunteers and the general public.

Beginning July 4, the hospitals will no longer permit the use of any tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chew, snuff and dip) indoors or outdoors, including parking garages and lots, sidewalks and streets within campus boundaries. The change goes beyond current Ohio law by moving tobacco products completely off hospital campuses, not just outside buildings. 

“We’re taking this step because tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States,” said Bill Linesch, vice president of Human Resources for Premier Health Partners.  “We are aware of how difficult this decision is for employees, physicians, patients and visitors who smoke.  We’ve put together a comprehensive program for employees so that they are prepared to discuss resources for smoking cessation counseling and/or nicotine replacement therapy with patients.”

Signage and cards have been posted throughout the facilities to make visitors and patients aware of the policy.  Employees, vendors and medical staff were informed of the new policy early in the year.   

Premier is encouraging employees to take advantage of smoking cessation options available to them.   These include the following programs:

  • Smoking cessation counseling offered through Premier Community Health.  One-on-one or small group sessions are available to employees and spouses at no cost.  A certified tobacco cessation specialist provides individualized support through behavioral training and information on pharmaceutical solutions. 
  • Chantix medication.  With a physician prescription, an employee can receive each one-month supply for this 12-week program for a $25 co-pay through May 1, 2008.   An eight-week nicotine patch and counseling program sponsored by the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation.  This option is offered to employees through May 1, 2008. 

“Research indicates that the highest rate of success for tobacco cessation results from a combination of behavior counseling and pharmaceutical aids,” Linesch said.  “We are offering a range of options to our employees to maximize their success in discontinuing their use of tobacco.” 

The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA), of which Miami Valley and Good Samaritan hospital are members, adopted a region-wide tobacco-free campus recommendation to be implemented by January 1, 2008.

Middletown Regional Hospital, which is also operated by Premier Health Partners, has been smoke and tobacco free since January 1.