Greene County General Hospital has announced the campus will be smoke-free as of November 15.
"We are wanting to provide the safest and the healthiest environment. This includes patients, families and visitors. We have decided to make that step," said Lea Ann Camp, Chief Nursing Officer.
She said going smoke-free will prohibit the use of cigars, cigarettes, pipes or any other devices that create smoke.
While creating an entirely tobacco-free campus is not in the works yet, Camp said that could change in the future.
"Not currently, but we have discussed that as well. The smoke-free decision was on behalf of the administrative team and the board.
Greene County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coordinator Sandy May said GCGH is the last hospital in the state to implement a smoke-free policy.
She said she is pleased to see the hospital make this step to provide a healthier environment for patients and visitors.
The transition will be taking place in coordination with the 37th Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS).
According to the ACS website, www.cancer.org, the purpose of the Great American Smokeout is to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit or use the day to quit smoking entirely.
"Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year," the website states.
In addition, there are 13.2 million cigar smokers and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.
Greene County General Hospital is currently offering smoking/chew cessation classes each Tuesday until Oct. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the hospital conference room. The classes also offer free nicotine replacement therapy.
To sign up, call 847-9502.