Q: What does smoke-free, inside and out, mean?
A: Effective January 1, 2011, smoking is not permitted by anyone on the campuses of DeKalb Medical, and any owned/leased properties, or in hospital owned/leased vehicles. Our facilities have been smoke free for several years but we’ve maintained smoking areas outside of the building. Smoking on the outside of the building in areas such as the parking deck, the parking lot and the grounds of our hospital campuses will no longer be allowed.
Q: Why is DeKalb Medical smoke-free?
A: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and second-hand smoke has known health risks. As a major provider of health care in the community, we are committed to leading by example and creating a healthy environment for our patients, visitors, employees and volunteers who are on our campus. This initiative sets a positive example in the community.
Q: To whom does the policy apply?
A: Everyone, including employees, volunteers, students, patients, visitors, vendors, contractors and others who work in or visit our hospital buildings, parking lots and grounds.
Q: Is smoking allowed inside cars?
A: Smoking is prohibited on all areas of the campus, inside and outside, including inside cars that are parked on hospital property.
Q: Isn't smoking a personal legal right?
A: We are not requiring employees, visitors and patients to quit smoking, but we are requiring them to refrain from smoking while visiting or working at DeKalb Medical.
Q: Why can't DeKalb Medical have smoking huts that are designated outdoor locations?
A: Smoking and secondhand smoke are known health hazards. As a healthcare institution, DeKalb Medical is committed not just to healing illness, but also to promoting wellness. Allowing smoking on our campus, even in designated areas, is not consistent with this commitment. We do not want our patients, visitors and employees to be exposed to secondhand smoke while on our campus.
Q: What kind of support is being offered to visitors while on the hospital campus?
A: Visitors who wish to smoke must leave the hospital grounds in order to do so. The nicotine products in the stores will be available to them as well. For those experiencing stressful situations and for whom referring to the store would not be appropriate, we will have some “emergency” items for staff to offer. Each unit and high stress area will have a “smoke-free kit” to provide an immediate substitute for these visitors. The kit is intended for visitors only and will contain nicotine replacement products as well as candy, mints, lozenges etc. Distribution of these items will be at the manager’s discretion.
Q: What kind of support is provided to inpatients who smoke?
A: Physician practices will be provided with information to notify those with planned admissions that smoking is not permitted. The attending physician will assess and discuss the need for NRT or pharmacological quit aids with the patient, and if indicated, write an order for such an aid.