In Michigan
6:08 pm
Fri July 16, 2010

Hospital's tobacco-free policy: Light up, get out

JACKSON, MI –

A southeast Michigan hospital has a message for cigarette-smoking patients who sneak out for a quick puff: Don't let the door hit you in the butt.

A new tobacco-free policy set to begin Nov. 20 will require patients to remain tobacco-free until they are discharged.

Jacalyn Liebowitz, vice president for Patient Care at Allegiance Health in Jackson, said in a statement that sneaking a smoke "could be considered a voluntary discharge." She said it's the health system's responsibility to create a healthy and safe environment.

Hospital officials say education and various cessation aids will be offered to affected patients.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot says the policy will begin in conjunction with the American Cancer Society's national smoke-free day, the "Great American Smokeout."