University Hospital & Clinics Becoming Tobacco-Free Campus

1/26/2015

This time of year is when smokers who have made New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking are struggling to continue the fight. But, University Hospital & Clinics (UHC) is bolstering non-smokers by transitioning to a completely tobacco-free campus on February 1. This is hoped to encourage tobacco users to quit, an important step toward a healthier lifestyle and improving community health.

UHC advocates a healthy work environment and is committed to providing a safe, tobacco-free campus for all patients, visitors, employees and physicians. By policy, all tobacco products (cigarettes, e-cigs, pipes, chewing tobacco, cigars) will be prohibited on the UHC campus, which includes all buildings, sidewalks and parking lots. This policy is intended to protect the health of non-tobacco users and provide support and encouragement to those who wish to quit by offering assistance.

“Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in Louisiana,” says Jared Stark, CEO of UHC. “Our job at UHC is to save lives and prevent disease, so becoming 100% tobacco free not only makes sense, but it is part of our obligation to the community.”

The UHC Medical Detox Unit will maintain a non-smoking environment to the extent that the therapeutic process for a patient is not jeopardized. Therefore, patients in the Detox Unit will be provided with nicotine replacement therapies during their treatment.

Lung cancer is the second-most diagnosed cancer in Louisiana (it is sometimes first), and is one of the most lethal types of all cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. In the Louisiana Tumor Registry’s latest report, they estimated approximately 3,740 new lung cancer cases would be diagnosed, and 2,670 patients would die from lung cancer, during the year.

UHC joins other Lafayette General Health campuses that are smoke-free, including Lafayette General Medical Center, the Medical Office Building housing Lafayette General Surgical Hospital and Oil Center Surgical Plaza, St. Martin Hospital and Acadia General Hospital.

Below is a list of resources to help you become tobacco free:

  1. LSU Tobacco Control Initiative - (337) 261-8541
  2. Louisiana Tobacco Quit Line - (800) QUIT NOW or (800) 784-8669
  3. Smoking Cessation Trust - (855) 259-6364
    • The Smoking Cessation Trust is a court-established and court supervised smoking cessation program to benefit Louisiana residents who began their smoking habit prior to September 1, 1988. Members will receive any of the following cessation services at no cost: cessation medications, individual/group cessation counselling, telephone quit-line support, and/or intensive cessation support services.
  4. American Lung Association - (800) 586-4872
    • The American Lung Association is a voluntary health organization dedicated to the prevention of lung disease and the promotion of lung health through research, education, and advocacy. The ALA fights lung disease in all forms, with special emphasis on asthma, tobacco control, and environmental health.
  5. American Cancer Society - (800) 227-2345
    • The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to preventing cancer and saving lives. With chartered divisions throughout the country and over 3,400 local offices, the ACS is committed to fighting cancer through research, education, advocacy, service, and rehabilitation.
  6. Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention - (202) 265-8054
    • (Hablemos español) The Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention is a non-profit, national organization dedicated to combatting alcohol and tobacco problems and their underlying causes in Latino Communities through research, policy analysis, community education, training, and information dissemination.
  7. Tobacco Free Nurses - (877) 209-4144
    • This is the first national initiative focused on providing support for nurses who smoke and establishing a framework for engaging nurses in tobacco use prevention and cessation.
  8. National Cancer Institute National Quitline - (877) 44U-QUIT or (877) 448-7848
    • The National Cancer Institute National Quitline is a federally funded service providing free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking. Information is available in both English and Spanish.
  9. Be Tobacco Free
    • Government service providing information on the health effects of tobacco, quitting smoking, and more.
  10. Freedom From Smoking Online (FFS) 
    • An adaption of the American Lung Association’s gold standard, group clinic, the online program is specifically designed for adults who want to quit smoking.
  11. Become an EX Smoker 
    • The EX Plan is based on scientific research and practical advice from ex-smokers.

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