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ACH goes smokefree

By By Adam Prestridge
Patients entering the ER at Atmore Community Hospital will be able to breath easier beginning Thursday when the campus goes smokefree - indoors and outdoors.
The new policy coincides with the Great American Smokeout, a day set aside yearly to urge smokers to quit.
Baptist Health Care’s expansion of its smoking policy to the outdoors, which was made in an effort to ensure patients, families, employees and community members are not exposed to the harmful effects of smoking while on any of its campuses, is something Perkins believes will be beneficial in many ways.
Four Baptist Health Care facilities - Jay Hospital, Baptist Manor, Baptist Behavioral Medicine Hospital and Baptist Home Health Care - have already adopted smokefree campus policies. By going completely smoke free, Baptist Health Care joins 1,800 hospitals nationwide that have adopted smokefree campus policies.
Kirsch added that statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite tobacco as the leading preventable cause of death and disability in the United States. An estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke each year.
Perkins realizes that several patients and visitors will be upset over the smoking ban, but hopes that they realize the effects smoking has on the people around them and choose not to light up.
The City of Atmore adopted a Smokefree Air Act in October 2008 prohibiting smoking in all public areas including restaurants.
For more information, community resources and smoking cessation information, visit BHCgoessmokefree.org.