Local News

Triangle Hospitals To Go Smoke-Free

Posted October 3, 2006 11:17 a.m. EDT

— Three hospital systems in the Triangle said Tuesday that they would be completely smoke-free by next July.

Duke University Health System, UNC Health Care and WakeMed Health & Hospitals banned the use of tobacco products inside their buildings several years ago, but the new policies will prohibit the use of tobacco products anywhere on hospital property by employees, physicians, patients and visitors.

Hospitals included in the ban include Duke University Hospital, Duke Health Raleigh Hospital, Durham Regional Hospital, Rex Healthcare, UNC Hospitals, WakeMed Raleigh Campus, WakeMed Cary Hospital, and WakeMed North Healthplex.

A recent report by the U.S. Surgeon General documented the health effects of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke is a major cause of disease, including lung cancer and coronary heart disease, in healthy nonsmokers.

The three hospital systems join more than 35 percent of hospitals in North Carolina that have gone tobacco-free.