Categorized | Health

East Hawaii hospitals, clinics going tobacco-free


To further its commitment to improving community health, the East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation has adopted a tobacco-free policy that will go into effect Wednesday, May 1.

This policy encompasses all hospitals and associated clinics on the campuses of Hilo Medical Center, Hale Hoola Hamakua in Honokaa and Ka’u Hospital, including businesses leasing office space on property operated by the East Hawaii Region of HHSC.

The use of tobacco products will be prohibited on these campuses, including the parking lots.

“We’re asking our community and hospital staff to help foster a healthy environment for patients and visitors,” said Howard N. Ainsley, CEO of East Hawaii Region of HHSC. “This new tobacco-free policy makes good public health sense for our hospitals.”

The East Hawaii Region will provide support to patients, staff and the community in their efforts to quit using tobacco products.

Patients are currently offered tobacco cessation information and tobacco abatement products such as nicotine patches. Tobacco cessation classes are being organized for staff and community at Hilo Medical Center.

According to the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii:

* Smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death and disability in the United States and Hawaii

* Hawaii’s annual healthcare costs directly caused by smoking is $336 million and smoking-caused productivity loss is $308 million

* The annual cost of tobacco use is about $3,400 per smoker or about $7.18 for each pack of cigarettes sold

* Smokers have a higher risk of stroke and coronary heart disease than non-smokers

* Smokers also have excess risk of pneumonia. The risk for ex-smokers declines over time and reaches the same level as for never-smokers after 10 years

* Research shows that creating a tobacco-free workplace is one of the most effective means of helping employees quit smoking.

Tobacco-Free Campuses and Facilities

* Hilo Medical Center Campus: Acute Hospital, Extended Care Facility, Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, Veterans Affairs Clinic, River Cottage, and all parking lots

* Hilo Medical Center Outpatient Clinics: Cardiology, Hawaii Pacific Oncology Center, Hilo Bone & Joint, Hilo Surgical Associates, Neurology, Otolaryngology, and Urology

* Hale Hoola Hamakua Campus: Hamakua Health Center, Cottages and North Hawaii Education and Research Center (NHERC)

* Ka‘u Hospital and Rural Health Clinic

— Find out more:


One Response to “East Hawaii hospitals, clinics going tobacco-free”

  1. Tobacco is the biggest killer in this world and there is no doubt about that, we need a smoke free environment to live a healthy life.


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