HCMC commits to going tobacco-free beginning May 7

Hillsboro Community Medi?cal Center is going tobacco-free May 7, hospital officials announced last week.

As of that date, no tobacco use of any kind will be permitted?inside or outside?HCMC property. This initiative will include the elimination of designated areas outside HCMC where employees, patients and visitors currently use tobacco products.

Mike Ryan, chief executive officer, said HCMC has joined hospitals and nursing homes across Kansas in an effort to become tobacco-free.

?As a health-care organization, we are committed to the health and safety of our employees and patients,? he said.

?We believe that we have a responsibility to set an example on this major health issue, and allowing people to use tobacco products defeats this purpose.?

Tobacco is the cause of death for 3,800 Kansans every year and is the root cause of many illnesses and lost productivity, Ryan added. Tobacco use in and around hospitals poses health and safety risks for patients, employees and visitors.

?Hillsboro Community Medical Center?s decision to go tobacco-free is not an attempt to force anyone to quit using tobacco products,? Ryan said. ?Rather, the tobacco-free initiative is a concrete way we can demonstrate our ongoing commitment to healthy living.

?We are asking for community support in HCMC?s tobacco-free initiative as we move toward May 7.

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