Tuality to Go ‘Smoke Free’ as of Jan. 1

December 13, 2008

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

To help promote better community health, Tuality Healthcare will become a tobacco-free organization as of Jan. 1, 2009.  The new policy applies to patients, visitors and employees at all Tuality facilities and grounds.

Locations include Tuality Community Hospital (and all adjacent organizational properties on the Hillsboro campus), Tuality Forest Grove Hospital, Tuality HealthPlace in Hillsboro, and all Tuality-operated clinics and doctors’ offices in western Washington County.

The change means the elimination of all current designated smoking areas, and includes a prohibition of smoking in vehicles parked on Tuality property.
Patients will be informed of the new tobacco-free policy during admission.  Based on approval by their physicians, patients may be provided with nicotine replacement therapy, whether in patch or gum form.

Tuality’s policy coincides with the Jan. 1 implementation of Oregon’s revised Smokefree Workplace Law, which increases restrictions placed on smoking at or near public buildings.  Tuality also is working closely with the Washington County Tobacco Prevention and Education Program as part of an initiative to reduce tobacco use countywide.

“Smoking is clearly a detriment to good health and the cause of so much unnecessary illness and death each year,” said Dick Stenson, president & CEO, Tuality Healthcare.  “As a healthcare organization, it is important that we inspire good health choices and provide an environment that is in the best interest of all our patients, visitors, employees and medical staff.”

For information on programs to help individuals give up tobacco use, contact Tuality Healthcare’s community education department at 503-681-1791, or the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line at 800-784-8669 (800-QUITNOW).