Raleigh, N.C. — Major hospitals in the Triangle are implementing a tobacco-free policy from Wednesday.
The use of tobacco products will be banned on the campuses of Rex Healthcare, WakeMed, UNC Hospitals and Duke University Health System.
The ban will apply to all medical workers, patients and visitors, said DUHS officials.
The hospitals formed the tobacco-free policy in October 2006, said officials.
Several hospitals are offering programs to help their employees quit using tobacco products.
DUHS is also providing nicotine replacement therapy to the public through outpatient pharmacies and gift shops.
Tobacco use and second-hand smoke are the leading cause of cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in the U.S., said DUHS officials.