ATLANTA -- Piedmont Hospital is expanding their smoke-free policy as of January 1, 2013, to become smoke-free on all hospital grounds.
Along with the smoking ban in Atlanta's parks, today's announcement from Piedmont Hospital honors the 37th annual Great American Smokeout to help make Atlanta neighborhoods healthier.
Mark Cohen, M.D., vice president of medical affairs and chief quality officer of Piedmont said their years of research have shown that smoking has dangerous affects on one's health.
As a community hospital, it is our job not only to restore the health of patients who come to us for help but to protect them from things that are harmful to their health like secondhand smoke," Cohen said.
According to Piedmont Hospital, tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. The American Cancer Society reported that even with the risks, about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes.
Educating the community about the dangers of second-hand smoke is the Smoke Free Coalition of Fulton County. They are also spreading the word of the benefits of smoke-free workplaces for everyone around Atlanta.
"We feel that this is a positive step in that the citizens who seek quality health care delivery will not have their health outcomes placed in jeopardy due to the effects second-hand smoke," Ken Lazarus, co-chair of the Smoke Free Coalition of Fulton County said.
Under the new smoke-free policy, all employees, physicians, patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors must avoid using tobacco products in all buildings, as well as anywhere near the hospitals' entrances. Plus, the new policy applies to all walkways, grounds areas, parking lots and inside vehicles parked on Piedmont Hospital property.