High Point Medical Community Going Tobacco Free
Today High Point Regional Health System announced plans to become a tobacco-free campus on July 4, 2005. Tobacco use of all types will be prohibited both indoors and outdoors on all Health System properties. They are being joined by a number of medical practices, including Cornerstone Health Care, Carolina Cardiology, Pinewest OB-GYN, High Point Pediatrics, and all of the medical practices located at High Point Medical Center.
Others joining the effort, as of press time, include Sovereign Grace Surgical, BMI Nephrology, Carolina WomanCare and Carolina Birth Center, Piedmont Plastic Surgery, Main St. Women’s Center, Allergy & Asthma Center, Carolina Anesthesiology, North State Pathology, Crowell Heart, PA, Alton Reeder, MD; Archdale Family Practice, Jamestown Family Practice & Urgent Care, Joel Gentry, DDS; Charles Surles, DDS; C. Jeffrey Braddy, DDS.
“As a leading healthcare institution, part of our responsibility is to role model healthy behaviors,” said Jeffrey S. Miller, President of High Point Regional Health System. “For years we’ve seen documented evidence that reducing the use of tobacco could greatly decrease the incidence of heart disease, lung disease, stroke, cancer, and many other serious conditions. By going tobacco free we’re not only trying to improve the health of our valuable employees, but also hope to set an example for other groups in the community who want to make similar efforts.”
“We know going tobacco-free can be hard,” said Sue Cumpston, Wellness Coordinator for the Health System. “That’s why we’re going to great lengths to provide support for people who want to quit. Starting immediately, we will offer free tobacco cessation classes and nicotine replacement therapy to employees who wish to stop using tobacco. And we’ll go a step further for members of our employees’ immediate households by providing free tobacco cessation support plus nicotine patches or gum at the Health System’s discounted cost.”
Patients and visitors to the campus will be offered assistance in coping alternatives, and the Health System will also provide free tobacco cessation materials to any member of the community.
The Health System’s move to become tobacco-free is underscored by some alarming statistics:
- Over 440,000 people die prematurely each year from tobacco-related diseases. This is more deaths than are caused by alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicides, suicides, car crashes, fires and AIDS combined.
- Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable deaths in North Carolina. One in five deaths in NC can be attributed to smoking.
- Tobacco use is a primary risk factor in heart disease, cancer, stroke and lung disease.
- More than 6.4 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents – the decision to smoke cigarettes.