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KMC announces tobacco-free campus plan

| November 16, 2010 8:00 PM

Kootenai Medical Center will join health care facilities nationwide when it becomes a tobacco-free campus on Nov. 18 - the day of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smoke Out.

Kootenai's buildings have been smoke-free for many years now. The new tobacco-free policy will extend that ban to all campus areas, both inside and out, and apply to all tobacco products.

"As a health care leader in our community, becoming a tobacco-free campus is the right thing to do," said Carmen Brochu, vice president of patient care services. "We know the health risks of smoking and tobacco use, so if we can help people move away from that, it is the ethical thing to do."

Patients were a top consideration as Kootenai worked through the logistics of becoming a tobacco-free campus. Patients who smoke will be offered approved nicotine replacement therapy along with counseling on smoking cessation resources, many of which are free or covered by insurance.

Knowing just how difficult it can be going tobacco-free, Kootenai worked with employees who use tobacco for nearly a year to help ease the transition. This included providing a variety of resources and courses to help with tobacco cessation.

If you are interested in stopping smoking or using tobacco Kootenai Health offers a "Be Smoke Free in 7 Weeks" program. The training helps participants understand their individual smoking habits and make specific plans that will help them quit. Individual counseling sessions are also available at Kootenai.

For information on classes and free resources that are available, call (208) 666-2893 or log onto www.kootenaihealth.org/quit.

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