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Bay County Hospitals Become Tobacco-Free Effective Nov. 19, 2009

November 18, 2009

Contact:
Christa Dean Hild
850-747-6542

Panama City, Forida – To coincide with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout® on Thursday, November 19, Bay Medical Center, Gulf Coast Medical Center and HealthSouth will join more than 50 other Florida hospitals that are already tobacco-free.

This new policy will apply to all patients, visitors, medical staff, contractors and employees. Effective November 19, 2009, no tobacco use of any kind will be permitted inside each hospital’s buildings, in parking lots, or anywhere else on the properties. For patients who smoke, each hospital will have orders in place to provide nicotine replacement therapies during the patient’s stay.

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. It accounts for nearly 1 in 5 deaths each year, of which more than 135,000 are due to smoking related cardiovascular diseases. Cigarette smokers are two-to-three times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than nonsmokers