EL CENTRO – TheÂ El Centro Regional Medical Center Tuesday announced plans to become a smoke- and tobacco-free facility. Beginning August 29, ECRMC will no longer permit any tobacco products on any property owned or leased by the medical facility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, upwards of 16 million Americans currently have a disease caused by smoking. Those diseases include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and several others.
In efforts to reflect the health systemâ€™s mission, ECRMC has made tobacco use a quality concern by not only banning tobacco products, but by also preparing to implement symptom relief and tobacco-cessation treatment to anyone wishing to quit smoking, according to ECRMCâ€™s news release.
In the news release, Dr. Adolphe Edward, chief executive officer, said, â€œWe are eliminating tobacco use on our properties to provide a healthy and safe environment for employees, patients and visitors and to promote positive health behaviors.â€
The CDC website states that approximately six million worldwide deaths each year are caused by cigarette smoking. By 2030, the CDC predicts the yearly tobacco-related deaths to rise to more than eight million.
â€œWe can no longer turn a blind eye to on-campus smoking when we know that continued tobacco use can cause problems for a patient,â€ said Dr. Christian Tomaszewski, chief medical officer. â€œSmoking delays wound healing, increases infection rates in surgeries, and is the most common cause of poor birth outcomes.â€
In 2011, approximately seven in ten cigarette smokers expressed desire to stop smoking, while four in ten smokers attempted to stop smoking but were unable, according to the CDC website.
Recognizing the difficulties of the new implementations, Dr. Edward said, â€œThis will not be easy, but itâ€˜s central to our continuing efforts to make an excellent place to work and to receive health care,â€ according to the news release.