Sisters Hospital "Clears the Air" During Great American Smokeout

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November 17, 2008

Sisters of Charity Hospital and several local property managers took an important step in the fight against heart and lung disease by announcing plans to make their properties smoke free. Sisters Hospital President & CEO, Peter U. Bergmann, announced the hospital's new smoke free campus policy on Thursday, November 20, the date of American Cancer Society’s 33rd Great American SmokeOut. The press announcement was held in the Sisters Hospital Lobby at 10 am. In addition, the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition will announce its smoke free multi-dwelling unit program which offers property managers free advertising for their smoke free apartment units.

This new Sisters Hospital policy will affect visitors and staff throughout Catholic Health, who will be asked to refrain from smoking while on the Sisters Hospital campus, which includes all buildings and off site facilities, parking lots, vehicles, grounds, and adjacent sidewalks. “It’s our responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for those who work, visit, or receive care at our hospital. We are looking forward to “Clearing the Air” at Sisters Hospital,” says Peter U. Bergmann, President & CEO of Sisters Hospital. “We are hoping that those who smoke will use the new policy as an opportunity to try to stop smoking. Our hospital is offering free smoking cessation classes for our associates as well as information on free nicotine patches, gum and lozenges through the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NYSQUITS (1-866-697-8487) or www.nysmokefree.com.”

“More and more hospitals and other businesses across our region are adopting smoke-free campus policies,” said Gretchen Leffler, Regional Vice President of the WNY Chapter of the American Cancer Society. “These policies help to discourage smoking, which employers are figuring out save them money in the long run. Sister’s hospital is the 15th hospital in our own region that has adopted a smoke free campus policy. Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Roswell Park, Olean General, and Brooks Memorial, have already successfully made their campuses smoke free.”

According to Anthony Billoni, Director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition, “Just like hotels and rental car businesses, apartment managers are increasingly moving to make their units smoke free since more tenants are looking for smoke free rental units and it saves them money on clean up. In Erie and Niagara counties we will help apartment managers advertise their smoke free units by picking up part of their advertising costs. So far this program has generated a list of over 500 rental units in Western New York that are smoke free. Prospective tenants can locate the smoke free rental units by logging on to our website at: www.smokefreehomes.com.”