RANSON – Starting Monday, University Healthcare’s Jefferson Medical Center here will no longer allow tobacco use of any kind, including e-cigarettes.
The new policy also bans tobacco use out-of-doors on hospital property, according to Teresa McCabe, the spokeswoman for the hospital system. Also banned: tobacco use on sidewalks, in the parking lots and inside vehicles parked on the campuses.
Earlier this summer, University Healthcare’s hospital in Martinsburg – Berkeley Medical Center – adopted an identical policy.
In Jefferson County, the new policy also applies to University Healthcare satellite office buildings in Ranson as well as the new Windmill Crossing building off U.S. 340.
“As a healthcare organization, we are committed to the health and safety of our employees, patients and visitors,” said Christina DeRosa, president and chief operating officer at Jefferson Medical Center.
She said tobacco use in and around hospitals poses health and safety risks for patients, employees and visitors.
“Our decision to go tobacco-free as a system is not an attempt to force anyone to quit using tobacco products,” McCabe said. “Rather, the tobacco-free initiative is a concrete way to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to healthy living.”
The hospital is offering smoking cessation programs as well as contact information on resources designed to help people give up tobacco. Details are available at 304-264-1223.