CDH Announces Smoke- and Tobacco-free Environment for Late 2007

NORTHAMPTON — Effective Nov. 15, 2007, smoking and other tobacco products will be prohibited from Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s campus. This ban also applies to CDH-affiliated physician offices and hospital-run facilities in Amherst, Easthampton, Florence, and South Deerfield.

Richard Corder, vice president of guest services at CDH, says creating a smoke- and tobacco-free environment protects people from secondhand smoke, encourages smokers to quit or cut back, creates a safer and cleaner environment, and reduces the risk of fire. “Overall, this is the right thing to do for the health of our community,” he said.

The year’s notice, he added, is intentional. “We are giving our patients, community members, and guests advance notice of this change, and we will offer ongoing support for people who want to quit.”

That support started when Cooley Dickinson Hospital participated in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout in November 2006. CDH and the American Cancer Society offered free quit kits and health information to smokers who are interested in quitting or cutting back. CDH respiratory therapist Ginny Gagnon provided pulmonary screening exams.

Quit kits include items that help with the oral withdrawal of tobacco such as hard candy, chewing gum, Tootsie Pops, and straws. Other items in the kit include a coupon for Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), a stress ball, and a teabag.

According to the ACS Web site, the Smokeout challenges people to stop using tobacco and raises awareness of the many effective ways to quit for good. Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have some means of support, such as nicotine replacement products, counseling, prescription medicine to lessen cravings, guide books, and the encouragement of friends and family members.