Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

No smoking at ARH — period

Smoking will no longer be allowed on the grounds of Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital beginning in January.

As part of the initiative, no tobacco use of any kind will be permitted — inside or outside — on ARH property. This initiative will include the elimination of designated areas outside of Whitesburg ARH facilities where employees, patients and visitors are currently permitted to use tobacco products.

“As a healthcare organization, we are committed to the health and safety of our employees and patients,” said Ellen Wright, Whitesburg ARH community chief executive officer. “We believe that we have a responsibility to take a leadership role on this major health issue, and establishing our entire campus as tobaccofree firmly supports that belief.”

Wright said Kentucky has the highest rate of adult smokers in the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year approximately 440,000 Americans die from diseases caused by smoking and nearly 8,000 are Kentuckians. The U.S. Surgeon General has confirmed that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is a serious health hazard and that there is no riskfree level of exposure. Tobacco use in and around hospitals poses health and safety risks for patients, employees and visitors.

“Whitesburg ARH’s decision to go tobacco-free is a concrete way to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to healthy living,” Wright said. “We are asking for community support in Whitesburg ARH’s tobacco-free initiative as we move toward January 1.”

The hospital has offered employees and community members who would like to quit smoking free smoking cessation classes. The classes will be held each Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the Glass Appal next to the hospital cafeteria.

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