Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and the Memphis Healthcare Community Are All Out
In the interest of improving the health of our community and serving as role models for healthy lifestyles, MLH has implemented a tobacco-free campus policy system-wide.
This is part of a city-wide initiative involving nearly every hospital in our area, including Baptist, St. Francis, the MED, the VA Medical Center, Delta Medical Center, Memphis Mental Health Institute, and Southern College of Optometry. St. Jude is also participating on its hospital campus.
On November 15, 2007 the tobacco-free policy took effect. Associates, patients, physicians and visitors are no longer allowed to use any type of tobacco product anywhere on our campuses. Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
Upon your admission to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, please notify the admissions staff if you use tobacco. This information will be forwarded to your physician, who can make arrangements to provide you with nicotine replacement therapy products or discuss alternative resources for you.
For purposes of this policy, our campus includes all areas at each MLH hospital, including parking lots/decks, within personal vehicles on hospital property, within previously designated smoking areas, and sidewalks surrounding the buildings.
The Memphis-area tobacco free policy is one of the first, and certainly the largest such effort in the state of Tennessee. This policy has been endorsed by the Tennessee Hospital Association, the Tennessee Department of Health, Governor Phil Bredesen and other health advocacy groups. It is intended to help Memphis hospitals maintain the healthiest possible environment for patients, employees and visitors.
Thank you for your cooperation with this tobacco-free policy and for helping maintain a healthier environment for everyone.
If you are ready to stop using tobacco, tell your doctor or nurse. They can help.
Other resources to help you quit using tobacco are:
United States Department of Health and Human Services
American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669
American Cancer Society
Dangers of Tobacco Use
Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable premature death worldwide. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 438,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of "secondhand" exposure to tobacco's carcinogens. Smoking costs the United States over $167 billion each year in health-care costs including $92 billion in mortality-related productivity loses and $75 billion in direct medical expenditures or an average of $3,702 per adult smoker.
• Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths.
• About 8.6 million people in the U.S. have at least one serious illness caused by smoking. That means that for every person who dies of a smoking-related disease, there are 20 more people who suffer from at least one serious illness associated with smoking.
• Among current smokers, chronic lung disease accounts for 73 percent of smoking-related conditions. Even among smokers who have quit chronic lung disease accounts for 50 percent of smoking-related conditions. Smoking is also a major factor in coronary heart disease and stroke; may be causally related to malignancies in other parts of the body; and has been linked to a variety of other conditions and disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and peptic ulcer disease. For the first time, the Surgeon General includes pneumonia in the list of diseases caused by smoking.
• Smoking in pregnancy accounts for an estimated 20 to 30 percent of low-birth weight babies, up to 14 percent of preterm deliveries, and some 10 percent of all infant deaths. Even apparently healthy, full-term babies of smokers have been found to be born with narrowed airways and curtailed lung function.
• Smoking by parents is also associated with a wide range of adverse effects in their children, including exacerbation of asthma, increased frequency of colds and ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. Secondhand smoke causes an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections in children less than 18 months of age, resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 annual hospitalizations.
• In 2005, an estimated 45.1 million, or 21.0 percent of, adults were current smokers. The annual prevalence of smoking has declined 40 percent between 1965 and 1990, but has been unchanged virtually thereafter.
• Males tend to have significantly higher rates of smoking prevalence than females. In 2005, 23.9 percent of males currently smoked compared to 18.1 percent of females.
• Secondhand smoke involuntarily inhaled by nonsmokers from other people's cigarettes is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a known human (Group A) carcinogen, responsible for approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 (ranging 22,700-69,600) heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers annually in United States.
• Nicotine is an addictive drug, which when inhaled in cigarette smoke reaches the brain faster than drugs that enter the body intravenously. Smokers not only become physically addicted to nicotine; they also link smoking with many social activities, making smoking a difficult habit to break.
• Nicotine replacement products can help relieve withdrawal symptoms people experience when they quit smoking. Nicotine patches, nicotine gum and nicotine lozenges are available over-the-counter, and a nicotine nasal spray and inhaler are currently available by prescription.
• In addition, a doctor can prescribe non-nicotine pills such as Zyban and Chantix to help smokers quit.
• Nicotine replacement therapies are helpful in quitting when combined with a behavior change program such as the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking (FFS), which addresses psychological and behavioral addictions to smoking and strategies for coping with urges to smoke.
Sources: This information comes from the American Lung Association Web site.