Tobacco Free Policy
Effective August 3, 2009, Augusta Health and all property owned or leased by the hospital is tobacco-free. As a healthcare provider, Augusta Health is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its employees, patients, residents, volunteers, staff and contract staff, vendors, contractors, students, and visitors.
Augusta Health's purpose for this policy is to provide a healthier environment for everyone who visits the campus. We believe this collective effort will:
- Demonstrate our commitment to improve the health of the community by acting as a community leader in protecting the health of the public.
- Set a standard as the role model of a healthy environment.
- Create a healthier environment for everyone who visits our campuses by eliminating second hand smoke
- Empower and assist tobacco users in their quit attempt, if they so choose to try and increase Augusta Health's involvement in treating nicotine addiction
To maintain a tobacco free environment, the use of all tobacco products is prohibited on the campus of Augusta Health, including its outpatient facilities, business entities, all company vehicles, parking lots/decks and on sidewalks adjacent to Augusta Health property.
The term "tobacco" includes, but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, hookah or pipe smoking and e-cigarettes.
All employees, staff and contract staff, physicians, students, and volunteers of Augusta Health will be expected to adhere to the tobacco restrictions outlined in this policy.
If an Augusta Health employee leaves the campus during their work shift with the expectation of returning to work, they cannot use any tobacco product due to residual particulate that stays on hair and clothing and the resulting odor. Employees with tobacco odor in their clothing will be sent home on their own time to change. Repeated incidents will be subject to the disciplinary process.
All employees are responsible for ensuring compliance by fellow employees. Employees observing a co-worker violating the policy are requested to courteously remind the employee of the policy and ask the tobacco product be disposed of or extinguished.
Visitors and Family Members
No visitor or family member will be allowed to use tobacco products on the Augusta Health campus. Employees and other aforementioned Augusta Health representatives are required to promote compliance with the tobacco-free policy by informing visitors or family members that are known tobacco users of the policy, as well as intervening when visitors and family members are observed smoking or using smokeless tobacco.
After approaching the person respectfully and relaying empathy based on person's circumstance for being at Augusta Health, the Augusta Health representative will provide observed person with an intervention card describing the rationale for the policy, resources available during their visit to our campus (and to assist in quitting, if they so choose) and an offer for a complimentary coffee or fountain drink in the cafeteria or Atrium Fair, as well as the use of the Fitness Center during their visit.
Augusta Health's Tobacco Free Campus Policy is non-confrontational: if tobacco user responds in a negative manner, the representative is to walk away. A task force member or security should be contacted to address the non-compliant visitor to relay that we take our policy to protect the community very seriously. Security Officers will be expected to respond to requests from any employee when managing individuals refusing to comply with this policy.
Patients and Residents
At the time of admission or registration, patients and residents will be given information regarding the tobacco-free campus policy. Patients will be informed that leaving the campus to use tobacco, while admitted, will not be allowed. Patients leaving campus while admitted is classified as "against medical authorization" (AMA) and will have to be readmitted through the Emergency Room. Nicotine management options will be given to the patient when admitted: See Augusta Health - Nicotine Dependence Clinical Practice Guidelines and Physicians Orders for Nicotine Dependence Treatment.
Patients and residents will not be permitted to use tobacco or smoke under any circumstances. If an employee observes a patient/resident using tobacco products they are to be reminded of the tobacco free policy, and offered the same nicotine management options as given when admitted. Patient's and resident's tobacco items will be placed in a secure location until discharge.
Contractors and Vendors
All contractors and vendors will be informed of Augusta Health's tobacco free policy at the time a contract is agreed upon. Vendors are to sign in through materials management and will be reminded of the policy. If a contractor or vendor is observed violating this policy the Augusta Health representative is to inform them of the policy and provide them with an intervention card. If needed, contact Administration or security.