NEWNAN, GA. (November 14, 2011)—November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Piedmont Newnan Hospital and Piedmont Fayette Hospital are teaming up to announce the adoption of a new tobacco free campus policy. Beginning January 1, 2012, Piedmont Newnan Hospital will join hospitals across the state and around the country in prohibiting all tobacco use on hospital property. Piedmont Fayette Hospital will become completely tobacco free May 21, 2012. Lung Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to provide information and education about a disease that kills more Americans than any other cancer.
“Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, and second hand smoke, in particular, places our patients at risk,” said Jeffrey R. Folk, M.D., vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer for Piedmont Newnan Hospital. “As a healthcare leader, it is our responsibility to provide excellence in patient care, maintain a safe, healing environment and promote healthy lifestyles. We believe maintaining a tobacco free campus is the right thing to do for everyone involved in that process.”
The new policy prohibits the use of any tobacco products inside or outside any Piedmont Newnan Hospital or Piedmont Fayette Hospital location. The policy applies to all employees, physicians, patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors while they are on property. This includes all buildings, entrances, walkways, grounds, parking lots and in vehicles parked anywhere on Piedmont property. In addition, the odor of tobacco smoke and other smokeless tobacco products must not be detectable on any physician, employee or volunteer at any time.
“While we hope our new policy will encourage both patients and visitors to stop using tobacco products, it not our intent to dictate what they choose to do with respect to using tobacco products when not on our property,” said Fred Willms, M.D., vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer for Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “Our tobacco-free campus policy simply means individuals may not use tobacco products on Piedmont Newnan Hospital or Piedmont Fayette Hospital property. We also understand that tobacco cessation can be a difficult challenge for many, and so both hospitals have teamed up to provide tobacco cessation information and classes in support of those who want to quit.”
According to Lung Cancer Alliance-Georgia, lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among men and women in Georgia. This year alone, 6,150 Georgians will be diagnosed and 4,660 will die from the disease, accounting for 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the state. More than 1.4 million adults in metro Atlanta smoke cigarettes and the Georgia Department of Public Health attributes one out of every six deaths, or more than 10,300 adult Georgians, to tobacco-related diseases. In addition, approximately $1.8 billion in healthcare costs among adults aged 18 years and older are attributed to tobacco use.
Tobacco cessation classes are currently offered at both hospital locations. For more information, visit piedmontnewnan.org, piedmontfayette.org or register by calling call Link2Health at 1-866-900-4321. Additional tobacco cessation information is available by calling the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line (1-877-270-7867) or by visiting the Live Healthy Georgia website at livehealthygeorgia.com.