Tobacco-Free Hospitals

Essay by oakleykdA+, April 2006

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Tobacco use has been a subject of debate for quite some time. The individual's right to choose to smoke versus the individual's right to avoid air polluted with cigarette smoke is an ongoing battle. Reports on tobacco bans in businesses such as restaurants and bars has reignited the war zone and caught the public's attention once again. The American public is slowly becoming aware of hospitals that have begun to adopt a no-tobacco policy. It only makes sense that healthcare organizations should ban a product that has proven to be a leading cause in many types of cancer, diseases, death, and other health issues.

Most people have seen the warning label on the side of cigarette packages, but apparently that label is not as effective as it was intended to be. Hospitals scattered all over the United States have recognized the detrimental effects of tobacco use and are taking measures to set a good example.

Hospitals have banned smoking in patient rooms and other areas inside the hospitals since the 1980s. That too has proven to be only a small step towards limiting tobacco use. Though tobacco bans on hospital grounds has gained little notice, the number of hospitals undertaking this change is growing. According to the Killeen Daily Herald, Amanda Engler, a spokeswoman for the Texas Hospital Association, has seen several hospitals across the United States and Texas, including Dallas and Houston, opt for tobacco free grounds.

Two hospitals in Temple, Texas have decided to take a great leap by banning all types of tobacco use inside and outside of the facilities. They are not the first hospitals in Texas to adopt this policy. However, they are the first in Central Texas to do so. Scott & White Memorial Hospital has an effective date of January 1, 2005. Plans...