Hospital Bans All Smoking
In about a month, Lake Regional Hospital will be smoke free, from its main entrance to its parking lots. Even the designated smoking areas will disappear.
"We are a health care institution and we day to day see the effects on health of people smoking for years and years." said Laura Gajda, Lake Regional Public Relations.
Patients and visitors will have to rely on nicotine products from the gift shop or their doctors to satisfy their cravings. The hospital told employees about the new policy a couple of months ago.
"They either have a very positive reaction or if they're a heavy smoker, a negative reaction. But it's just that if we're going to lead by example, we need to really do this." Gajda said.
The hospital will provide classes for employees, like Tracie Patton, who want to quit.
"I think it's important for the hospital to take a stand for a healthier community, and I want to do my part." Patton said.
After ten years of smoking, Patton's ready to kick her habit.
"Actually, I'm the only one in my department who smokes, so they're all behind me, encouraging me," Patton said.
Come November 17, the hospital won't just ban cigarettes but any kind of tobacco product as well. St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City is also completely smoke free.