Hospitals Ban Employee Smoking
So, University Hospital and Boone Hospital Center decided to work together when the Missouri Hospital Association suggested members should go smoke-free.
Both hospitals announced Friday they will ban smoking starting Sept. 1. But, Lisa Mitchell, a nurse at Boone Hospital Center, says the new rule deprives her of an important part of her workday.
"It's not fair to take away our one stress relief," she complained, "to come outside and smoke."
Boone Hospital said it will offer free or discounted programs to help its staff quit smoking.
They can take smoking breaks until the ban takes effect. Then, the center will start by reminding them, and enforcement will become stricter until smoking stops in or around the hospital, including the parking lot.
"I was excited from the time that we began considering this," said Michelle Zvanut, a Boone Hospital Center employee. "It took on a momentum of its own as we talked more about how good this would be for all of our customers, for everyone in the community."
So, until Sept. 1, hospital employees who smoke are taking advantage of their last on-the-job puffs.