Twenty years ago, it was normal for hospitals to allow smoking in or near patient rooms. But with what we’ve learned about the dangers of secondhand smoke, hospitals no longer allow smoking in their buildings. This was a big step forward in creating a healthy environment for patients, staff, and visitors.
Now, hospitals are moving to take an even stronger stance against tobacco use by ensuring that their entire grounds – including parking lots, entryways, and outdoor shelters – are tobacco-free. Hospitals are also realizing the value of supporting their employees in quitting smoking, by ensuring that they have medicines and counseling to help them quit.
On January 5, the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) unveiled Healing Inside and Out: Massachusetts Tobacco-Free Hospitals, a new initiative to support hospitals as they move toward being completely tobacco-free. MHA developed the initiative in collaboration with the Department of Public Health.
Speaking at the initiative’s launch event, DPH Commissioner John Auerbach underscored the importance of smoke-free hospital campuses and helping people quit as a means of improving overall health, reducing chronic disease, and reducing the Commonwealth’s health care costs.
Pictured at the launch event are (left to right): David E. Storto, President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network; Jaye Hefner, MD, Spaudling Rehabilitation Hospital physician and tobacco-free advocate; Lynn Nicholas, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Hospital Association; and John Auerbach, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
MHA has created an online resource center that provides implementation how-to’s, statistics, best practices, case studies, useful web links, a communications tool kit, and much more, at: http://www.mhalink.org/tobaccofreehospitals.
Weekly Flu Report, February 12, 2016 posted on Feb 12
Rates of flu-like illness continued to climb over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. This is consistent with what we typically see at this point of flu season in years past. And if prior flu seasons are any indication, we can …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 12, 2016
Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier! posted on Feb 11
I used to think that Halloween through New Year’s was the hardest time of the year to stick to my goal of eating healthfully, considering leftover candy from trick or treating, Thanksgiving dinner, holiday parties and gatherings—the list goes on and on. By the time …Continue Reading Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier!
Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Feb 10
This month’s Public Health Council meeting featured a series of presentations and discussions on proposed amendments to regulations, followed by informational updates on select Department initiatives. First the Council received updates from the Department on the status of proposed amendments to regulations related to: Safety Requirement for …Continue Reading Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting