A Columbus Hospital is now Smoke-Free

July 1, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga.  (WXTX) -- Everywhere you go these days most people are lighting up outside, but as of this Friday you will no longer be able to smoke on the campus of St. Francis Hospital.

"We will not allow any cigarette smoking on the main campus or any St. Francis property.  This will include parking lots, sidewalks, interior and exterior of the building," said Administrative Director Terry Parish.

It's a move that came after a recommendation by the patient safety committee, which consist of a group of employees and supervisors.  St. Francis says they are doing this for the health and safety of those who visit any of its campuses.  "We are also providing classes for our employees and providing other products to help them break the habit.  We just want people to stop smoking all together," said Parish.

The fresh start classes last for four weeks.  They are to help people break the habit and are open to the public.  The first meeting consists of setting a date to stop smoking.  "We will go through each class and give participants different ways to effectively stop smoking," said spokesperson Kristie Johnson

If an employee violates the new policy the first time it's a warning, the second will be a written warning and the last time it's a conversation with the Vice President of Human Resources.

They say the ultimate goal of the smoking policy is to promote a healthier life.  Hospital officials say if someone visiting the hospital violates the new policy they plan to ask that person to put out their cigarette.

If you are interested in taking a classes to quit smoking call the Patrick Heart Institute 706-320-3009.