Smoke & Tobacco Free Campuses
On behalf of the St. Mary's Smoke-Free, Tobacco-Free Policy Committee, we would like to share our vision and goals for becoming a smoke and tobacco-free organization by November 2017.
St. Mary's health System is committed to the promotion of health. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and tobacco use, in any form, active or passive, is a serious health hazard. SMHS also acknowledges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's and American Cancer Society’s findings, which classify secondhand smoke as a Class A/Group A carcinogen.
Although the percentage is lower than it used to be, tobacco use in the State of Maine currently kills more people than alcohol, drugs, homicides and suicides combined and it is one of the leading causes of preventable death. Currently, 37 of 39 hospitals in the State of Maine are smoke/tobacco-free. St. Mary’s Health System (SMHS) is among the minority that still allows smoking on its campuses including on sidewalks adjacent to the campuses, and in cars on the campuses.
The purpose of the proposed policy is to eliminate involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke by patients, staff, and visitors at any St. Mary's location. Our goal is to achieve this by using evidence-based research. The proposed policy will focus on refraining from tobacco use on the property for the protection and integrity of the campus and the health of all who enter our campus.
While the purpose of the policy is not to force smokers to quit, a smoke and tobacco-free policy will help support current smokers in their desire to quit by encouraging them to seek treatment for their tobacco use. Additionally, a smoke and tobacco-free campus will help protect the property from accidental fires, damages, and tobacco waste and litter.
We welcome your feedback as together we create a smoke- and tobacco-free health system.
The Smoke-Free, Tobacco-Free Policy Committee