BRUNSWICK, Georgia – In an effort to provide a healthier environment
for patients, visitors and team members, Southeast Georgia Health System
is going tobacco-free on March 21, 2012. After this time, no tobacco use
of any kind will be permitted — inside or outside — on any
Health System property. Under this new policy, all patients, visitors,
residents, medical staff members, team members and vendors are asked to
refrain from tobacco use of any kind on al Health System facilities including
hospital campuses, parking lots, grounds, rental properties and off-campus
facilities such as primary care centers and immediate care centers.
“As a health care organization, we are committed to the health and
safety of our employees and patients. We believe that we have a responsibility
to take a leadership role on this major health issue, and establishing
our entire campus as tobacco-free firmly supports that belief,”
says Health System President & CEO, Gary R. Colberg, FACHE.
The US Surgeon General has confirmed that exposure to secondhand tobacco
smoke is a serious health hazard and that there is no risk-free level
of exposure. Tobacco use in and around hospitals poses health and safety
risks for patients, employees and visitors.
While the new policy will ban the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes and
smokeless tobacco on its properties, Health System representatives state
that it is not an attempt to force anyone to quit using tobacco products.
Rather, “the tobacco-free initiative is a concrete way to demonstrate
our ongoing commitment to healthy living,” says Colberg. In line
with this commitment, the Health System will begin offering tobacco cessation
classes to team members and their family members covered by our benefit
plans, medical staff members and volunteers on November 22.