Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network
Comprehensive Tobacco Policies for Maine Hospitals
As a medical provider, it is important to have a tobacco-free campus to protect patients and employees. Health care providers also have a special responsibility to set an example for other organizations and the communities they serve. A tobacco-free environment in hospitals sets a clear example of good health practices. It puts patients, visitors, and employees first by providing a healthy, tobacco-free atmosphere, encourages both patients and employees to quit tobacco use, and lowers long term health care costs.
The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network aims to create and award Gold Star Standards of Excellence to encourage more hospitals to adopt smoke-free policies, as well as provide ongoing technical assistance to the hospitals around the state. The initiative encourages hospitals to address the adverse health effects of environmental tobacco smoke by implementing tobacco-free policies on their grounds in order to promote a healthier environment.
The Gold Star Standards of Excellence is a 10-step written policy that encourages the adoption of voluntary comprehensive indoor and outdoor tobacco-free policies.
MTFHN Gold Star Standards of Excellence
- The hospital campus is smoke-free and tobacco-free. Tobacco use by staff, patients, and visitors is prohibited at all times in and on the hospital's property including in cars, in parking lots, and at all satellite sites. ("Tobacco" refers to smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, cigars, pipes, etc.).
- Written policies and procedures that communicate the hospital’s tobacco-free policy, including enforcement, exist and are reviewed at least annually or as needed.
- Appropriate signage is posted at key locations, including entrances to the building, in parking lots, and on the grounds.
- Information about tobacco use and treatment, secondhand smoke, and local/ statewide cessation resources are readily available to patients, staff, and visitors.
- Advertising or promotion of tobacco products is not allowed on the hospital's campus or satellite facilities. This includes hospital publications and magazines subscribed to by the hospital for the waiting rooms.
- All off-site meetings, conferences, and fundraisers are tobacco-free.
- Tobacco treatment intervention is available for all tobacco using patients admitted to the hospital. This includes tobacco cessation counseling, education, and access to evidence-based quit medication as clinically appropriate and clinical assistance for those patients experiencing nicotine withdrawal.
- The hospital supports education and training on tobacco use and treatment for employees.
- Tobacco treatment services are a covered benefit in the hospital insurance package for employees and dependents. Benefits include coverage for counseling and medication therapy for quitting tobacco, with minimal, or no, barriers to utilization (ie. co-pays, out of pocket costs, limits).
- The hospital refuses all donations from the tobacco industry, and divests itself of all tobacco company stock.
Visit the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network.
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