Categorized | Health

Observing World No Tobacco Day

(Photo courtesy of Hilo Medical Center)


In observance of World No Tobacco Day, the Tobacco-Free Coalition of East Hawaii, presented recognition plaques to Howard Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation and Hilo Medical Center; Merilyn Harris, Administrator of Ka‘u Hospital; and Therese Glowania, Personnel Management Specialist at Hale Hoola Hamakua for the hospitals’ tobacco-free policy and commitment to improving community health.

Lori Rogers, Executive Director of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation, received a special recognition for the Foundation’s financial support the public awareness campaign on the tobacco-free policy.

Prior to the presentation, coalition partners and Hilo Medical Center employees marked World No Tobacco Day by sign waving in front of the hospital to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.

“We are honored to be recognized for our tobacco-free policy and our commitment to improving population health,” said Howard N. Ainsley, CEO of East Hawaii Region of HHSC. “As the largest employer in East Hawaii, we are constantly looking for ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle. This policy is just one way we can make a difference in people’s lives and reduce the incidence of heart attack and stroke.”

“World No Tobacco Day is the perfect day to celebrate our state hospitals and clinics in East Hawaii,” said Sally Ancheta, East Hawaii Coordinator of the Tobacco-Free Coalition. “We applaud the HHSC’s hospitals and their affiliated clinics in East Hawaii for leading by example and going tobacco-free.”

Hilo Medical Center offered tobacco cessation classes to employees and the public through Hui Malama Ola Oiwi’s Hoola Hou program in the month of May. The hospital will be hosting another round of tobacco cessation classes in the summer. Prior to the May 1 start date, the East Hawaii Region launched a radio and print ad campaign, sponsored by the Hilo Medical Center Foundation, to inform the community of the new tobacco-free policy.

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One Response to “Observing World No Tobacco Day”

  1. Stubby2 says:

    The idea of a world without tobacco may be a nice idea, but it is nothing more then a utopian fantasy. To base public health policy based on a fantasy is a losing proposition that actually works against public health.

    A much better approach is tobacco harm reduction. Smokers can essentially get all the health benefits of quitting by simply switching to low risk alternatives to smoking as in low TSA smokeless tobacco and (likely) electronic cigarettes. Tobacco users can enjoy their tobacco while reducing the risk by 99%. Tobacco is not the killer, smoke is.


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