As of January 1, 2015, there will be no more lighting up at Cape Cod or Falmouth Hospital or any of Cape Cod Healthcare's (CCHC) other facilities. In a statement Tuesday, CCHC announced that all facilities on Cape Cod will be tobacco free come the first of the year.
CCHC President & CEO Michael Lauf called the reason for the new policy simple. "We are a healthcare system and our mission is to treat and heal illness and disease, which means we must not only provide the best care possible, but we must also lead by example," Lauf said.
Smoking is already banned inside the facilities and that ban will now extend to outside on the grounds of each facility. The ban not only includes cigarettes, but also unregulated nicotine products including e-cigarettes.
Physicians, employees and volunteers along with patients and visitors will also be required to comply with the new tobacco-free policy beginning January 1.
Those observed smoking or using other tobacco products will be asked to stop and will receive an informational card, according to a CCHC release. Tobacco use is the "single most preventable cause of death, disease and disability in the US," according to Lauf.
Signs and handouts will be made available at all CCHC facilities to advertise the policy change. CCHC will also be offering counseling, education and other resources to employees and volunteers to help them quit tobacco use.
Smoking is currently banned in all hospitals and health care facilities in Massachusetts.