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IMH - A Tobacco Free Organization


On September 8, 2008 Iroquois Memorial Hospital publicly announced that it would become a Tobacco Free organization beginning on November 20, 2008. That particular day coincides with the Great American Smoke-Out. Tobacco Free includes IMH's main campus and off-site campuses, as well as all buildings, parking lots, grounds and IMH vehicles owned, operated or maintained by Iroquois Memorial.

Hospital officials stated they realize this may be a difficult change for those employees, physicians, patients and visitors who use tobacco, however, there are compelling reasons for IMH to take this important step. As the leading healthcare organization in the region, IMH believes it should set a healthy example.

Tobacco has long been known to be a health hazard to users-but evidence has mounted over the years that second hand smoke carries serious risks for non-smokers including lung cancer, lung disorders and cardiovascular disease. Infants and children growing up in households with cigarette smoke often have chronic bouts with respiratory illnesses requiring frequent doctor visits. And smokeless tobacco users are at high risk for developing cancer or other serious disorders of the mouth, tongue and throat.

At Iroquois Memorial, not only do we want our employees to be healthier, we want our patients to be more comfortable while they are receiving care. Healthcare workers who smoke and then return to the bedside smelling like smoke can trigger reactions of nausea or respiratory distress in certain patients. For those individuals trying to quit tobacco, the odor of cigarette smoke carried in on clothing and hair can set-off cravings resulting in set-backs or even jeopardize efforts to quit.