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Greenwich Hospital clears the air By Meredith Blake
Staff Writer
Posted: 01/01/2009 01:00:00 AM EST.. Greenwich Hospital workers, patients and visitors looking to take a smoking break will have to find alternate ways of fighting the craving starting today.
The health-care facility will join 10 other state hospitals to go smoke-free, as it will prohibit smoking on all campuses, including outdoors.
The new policy is part of a statewide initiative started in November by the Connecticut Hospital Association to have all 29 member hospitals be smoke-free by November 2010.
"Smoking is contrary to the mission of hospitals," said Leslie Gianelli, the association's director of communications and public affairs. "By restricting it, hospitals are sending a message that smoking is not good for your health.
" Greenwich Hospital's interior has been smoke-free for several years. But this new program will ban people from smoking or using any tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, outside on any of their campuses, said Donna Gaudioso-Zeale, director of the hospital's Richard R. Pivirotto Center for Healthy Living.
"We thought that we should basically practice what we preach," she said.
Recognizing the difficulty people face quitting smoking, the hospital spent more than a year preparing employees for its new smoke-free policy.
"We really attacked it from several fronts," she said.
The hospital offered access to smoking-cessation programs, therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis and discounts on anti-smoking drugs, she said.
"It's not something you do lightly because it is an addiction. We recognize that it's hard for people to quit cold turkey," she said.
But quitting smoking is not the aim of the program, she said.
"We want the entire campus to be healthy with clean air for everyone," she said.
Visitors and employees previously could smoke at shelters set up outside of the building, but they are no longer available, she said.
For visitors interested in smoking, Gaudioso-Zeale said the hospital will address them on a one-to-one basis, mostly recommending each person get mints at the gift shop.
Some hospitals were offering complimentary mints, or Nicorette, a mint gum that fights cravings, to visitors to help quell cravings, but Greenwich Hospital opted not to do that. Nicorette is a medication and mints have sugar, which, if given to a diabetic, could cause health problems, she said.
"We know this is a major change, but we think it will ultimately make the hospital a healthier place to be," she said.
State hospitals already with smoke-free campuses are St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Griffin Hospital in Derby, MidState Medical Center in Meriden, Bristol Hospital, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Rockville General Hospital in Vernon, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Windham Hospital and Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London.
In addition to Greenwich Hospital, 14 other state hospitals are slated to go smoke-free this year or next year. Greenwich CT, Article

Article found at HypnoGenesis
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