Frequently Asked Questions about the New Smoking Policy
Because Crozer-Keystone Health System is committed to the health and safety of our employees, patients, and visitors, we are proud to be totally tobacco-free. Effective July 4, smoking and/or tobacco use will not be permitted anywhere on any Crozer-Keystone campus, including inside or outside of any buildings or leased property. Smoking is not permitted anywhere within the visual periphery of any campus, buildings, or leased properties. Smoking is not permitted in cars parked on or in the visual periphery of any campus or parked within the visual periphery of our campus.
Here are the answers to a few questions about the new smoking policy:
Background of the Policy
What factors influenced the development of the Policy?
There are a few major factors that helped shape the new Policy:
- Patient, employee, and visitor complaints. Letters, survey comments, and other feedback we’ve received consistently question the image that we present to the public by permitting smoking on our campus.
- Health concerns. Research consistently points out the increased health risks of secondhand smoke. As a healthcare facility, we are aware of those risks and want to educate and support smokers who would like to try to quit.
- Competitive concerns. More hospitals locally and throughout the country are re-examining and changing their smoking policies.
- Cessation support. The Crozer-Keystone Health System mission is to build a healthy place to live and work. Each Crozer-Keystone physician’s staff member who smokes is strongly encouraged to participate in a “Clear the Air” group smoking cessation program and to purchase over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, and lozenges) in the Crozer-Keystone Employee Pharmacy. Physicians are encouraged to ask about tobacco use at each patient’s visit and advise tobacco users to quit.
Where can we smoke?
You may not smoke anywhere on the campus or in the visual periphery of any Crozer-Keystone Hospital, building, or leased property. All outdoor smoking shelters will be removed before July 4th. We encourage you to take advantage of the many resources available to help you to quit smoking or to reduce your nicotine cravings during the work day.
Am I expected to approach smokers that I see?
Yes. We ask for and expect your support in courteously informing any smokers about the Policy. Your support and help is critical. It will take some months for all of our visitors and patients, many of whom have been coming to our campuses for years, to get used to the change. “Courtesy” cards will be available for you to give to smokers to inform them of the Policy and to provide smoking cessation information. Contact Rick Hassold at 610-338-8209 to receive a supply of courtesy cards.
Will patients also have to comply with the policy?
Is smoking permitted in the parking lots or garages?
No. We ask that smokers extinguish all smoking materials in their cars.
The new Policy seems focused primarily on the hospitals. How does it affect the office buildings?
The new Policy applies to the Health System’s five hospitals, as well as off-site buildings and rented and leased properties. Tenants of our office buildings and the staff of CKHS physicians are expected to honor our commitment to a smoke-free campus, as well, as you are a representative of our Health System. Crozer-Keystone CKHN employees who choose not to follow the Policy will be subject to the terms of the progressive discipline policy, which may put their jobs at risk.
Other Hospitals and Entities
What’s happening with the other hospitals/entities in the Health System?
All CKHS hospitals and campuses will be completely tobacco-free, effective July 4, 2008.
Resources for Smokers
I’m a smoker. How will I get through the work day without a cigarette?
We recognize that smoking is an addiction and not everyone will want to quit or will be able to quit. Consider calling CKHS Community Health at 15-6009 (610-447-6009) to learn more about FREE “Clear the Air” group smoking cessation classes. FREE nicotine replacement therapy may be available for eligible participants. You may also purchase nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, and lozenges) in the Crozer-Keystone Employee Pharmacy at Crozer-Keystone’s cost. Try munching on healthy snacks or drinking water each time you crave a cigarette. Schedule a visit with your doctor to discuss if prescription smoking cessation medications (Chantix or Bupropion) are right for you. If you aren’t successful the first time you quit, try again! If you are a CKHN employee, additional information was mailed to your home. Contact Employee Benefit Services at 19-6387 (610-595-6387) for additional information.