Lufkin Hospitals Ban Smoking - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/09/07 - Lufkin

Lufkin Hospitals Ban Smoking

by Tashun Chism

It's a plan that's been in the works for quite some time. And soon, smoking will be banned at Lufkin hospitals.

Starting November 15th, both Memorial Health Systems and Woodland Heights will prohibit employees, patients, and visitors from smoking anywhere on their property.

"We're committed to a healthier community and this is just a natural progression of that commitment," Memorial CEO Byrant Krenek said.

"It's a terrific opportunity to be able to partner together for both Woodland Heights and Memorial Health Systems. We're certainly proud to be able to offer this as a very positive step in moving forward and addressing smoking in the community," added Woodland Heights CEO Lance Jones.

Employees and visitors are now allowed to smoke outside of the hospital, but that's about to change. Some like the idea, others don't believe the stricter policy is necessary.

"I think it's going to be good. There's a lot of us that do smoke. We know that it's bad for us and it's not healthy, so we're trying to quit smoking. And now that we can't smoke at work, it will help us to quit." Memorial employee Gena Kosina told us.

"I understand how they're coming forth with it and i know why they're doing it. I don't really agree with it but I'll have to go along with it," said Betrice Sanford, another Memorial employee.

?Most hospitals I've been to have already adopted it. It doesn't really bother me. I understand that they have patients going in and out all the time and they don't want people smoking," said Memorial Hospital visitor Ross Valigura.

Hospital leaders know the new rule will make some unhappy. But they want people to understand why they're doing it. Programs are also now in place to help employees and community members stop smoking between now and November 15th.

"It doesn't happen overnight. So, I think it's appropriate that we've set a timeline out there that's about six months away. I think we can be largely successful by the time November 15th rolls around." Krenek said.

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