Northern Inyo Hospital Goes Tobacco Free

Northern Inyo Hospital will be tobacco-free as of Thursday, Nov. 20. The move coincides with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, which falls on the same date.

Sierra Wave Media talked with NIH CEO Victoria Alexander-Lane about the tobacco-free move.

This means that patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors, vendors and employees may no longer smoke or use tobacco on any NIH property. The new tobacco-free policy applies to indoor and outdoor areas, as well as parking lots and all cars parked in the lots.

The change was approved unanimously by the hospital’s Board of Directors in September. This policy change will help NIH meet its goal of improving the health and well-being of the people of Bishop and the surrounding communities.

Items included under the tobacco-free policy are cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and tobacco alternatives, such as clove cigarettes.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, smoking results in nearly 1 in 5 deaths; which equals about 480,000 early deaths each year. Smoking increases risk for a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. However, health experts say once someone stops smoking, regardless of how long or how much they smoked, these risks start to drop. For example, within the first month, the former smoker’s sense of smell and taste improves; within the first six months, their lung function improves; and within a year, their risk of heart disease is cut in half.

Help is available for those who want to quit smoking. The Inyo County Health & Human Services’ Wellness Center offers guidance to help people stop smoking. Contact Lisa at the Wellness Center, (760) 873-8039, for details, or call 1-800-NO-BUTTS, a 24-hour helpline funded by the California Department of Health. Translators are available.

18 Responses to Northern Inyo Hospital Goes Tobacco Free

  1. DESCO November 21, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Not enough customers in this sparsely populated area to support a specialist. Let alone customers with money or insurance. Medicare and Medical don’t pay much and are cutting back.

  2. Philip Anaya November 21, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    How about the spectacular natural setting and the great community to match . The Sierras, the Whites, affordable housing, great schools and environment to have your family and a great commute every time you go out the door just to get started. Agree with you DT about the amenities but :
    “wheels are made for rolling, Mules are made to pack. I ain’t never seen a place that
    didn’t look better lookin’ back”
    These lyrics remind me of how wonderful a northbound journey up 14 and 395 is, getting away from the multitudes in Los Angeles

    • Desert Tortoise November 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      I won’t be the first man up here who has had to promise their significant other they will move someplace more populated by a certain date, or else. I may like it up here and feel the trade off is tolerable, but that sentiment is not universal. My S.O. lived up here ten years and wants no more of it. The weekend sojourns to buy good food, clothing, and see plays have worn her out. Now that she is finishing her degree she has basically laid the law down. Move or live separately. I know other men who have been given the same ultimatum, or the commute hundreds of miles from here to their families on weekends after spouses and kids grew fed up with the isolation.

      • Philip Anaya November 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

        Read somewhere that freedom and love are mutually exclusive. Still trying to figure out what that all means. Best of luck to you and your S.O., DT

  3. Desert Tortoise November 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    Why would a specialist live in such an isolated region as Bishop? I don’t mean to be flippant, but most people who work hard enough to earn a medical degree and become an accomplished specialist want to live somewhere with all the amenites, like high end shopping, good grocery stores, outstanding restaurants, clubs, plays, major league sports events, and upscale neighborhoods. They don’t typically want to live somewhere that requires a drive of many hours to avail themselves of the amenities they probably had nearby during medical school. The Eastern Sierra is a hard sell for specialists of any kind due to it’s isolation and lack of the upscale amenities those specialists worked so hard in med school to be able to afford later in life. Don’t hang that rap on NIH, it is true of most professions here. The region is a tough sell due to it’s isolation.

    • erik simpson November 21, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Urban areas have their amenities and rural areas have theirs. There’s no lack of highly educated people, physicians included, on the east side. The problem with specialists depends on how narrowly they practice their specialty. If too narrowly there won’t be enough clients/patients. Not all doctors (or anybody else) are attracted to the bright lights.

    • Pedro November 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

      We’ve had at least one US Ski Team doc here. All in all, medical professionals here are very good considering our population. They tend to be ski bums and other outdoor types like the rest of us that see a Sierra sunset as a better amenity than a Gucci retailer any day. If you’re a smart and hardworking enough ski bum you can pilot your plane to Saline Valley or San Francisco and don’t have to drive for hours.

  4. Trouble November 19, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    LocalT- Bishop Hospital needs specialist in a major way. If you have any serious problem your butt will be placed on the next fight out. That’s a sad but true fact!

    • Charles O. Jones November 21, 2014 at 10:33 am #

      Most hospitals in remote areas don’t have a complete panel of full-time specialists. The population base doesn’t support it. I believe NIH has a number of specialists that do travel here on a part-time basis. But it’s unreasonable to expect all the same benefits of the big city while enjoying life in a remote area.

      Rather than repeatedly whining about what we don’t have, perhaps you could show some appreciation for the air service we do have which can quickly transport us for specialized treatment when needed. Or you could just move to a big city where you could have you everything you need closer to home.

      • Trouble November 22, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

        Charles- i don’t think I would call my statement whining, I got you to to listen and respond to my opinion.Anyhow, my hope is the directors at least try to focus on the real important medical needs we are hurting for. Not some old veteran wanting to go outside and smoke a cig.

        • Charles O. Jones November 23, 2014 at 9:22 am #

          When you complain about the lack of services and criticize the hospital over and over, in multiple threads – it sounds like whining to me.

          Expecting specialized treatments to be comparable with the big city in a sparsely populated area is just unrealistic. The situation in Bishop is not dissimilar to other remote communities, with the exception that we have the benefit of dedicated medical air service, which some small communities do not. In many remote communities you might have to wait hours for transportation to a facility for specialized care, and often times that would be ground transportation, not an aircraft.

          While I would welcome any additions to the staff of specialists at NIH, I find your repeated criticisms unrealistic and unfair.

          • Trouble November 23, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

            Charles- maybe i have good reason to complain about the lack of specialist at our hospital. Actually I do . If it gets their attention in any way it’s worth it. I try to pick my battles here there, and joke around a lot. But this topic is serious to me. I don’t regret one word I said on this topic.

          • Ken Warner November 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

            Trouble: I know what you are talking about — I’ll leave it there…

          • Charles O. Jones November 24, 2014 at 10:00 am #

            I actually appreciate your sense of humor, Trouble. And I sincerely hope that whatever personal reasons you have for picking this particular battle have a positive outcome. But if the realities of living in a remote area are not meeting your expectations, perhaps you should reconsider your choices.

            Oh, and don’t move to Seattle and argue for less rain. 🙂

          • Trouble November 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

            Charles- thank you, i moved here to get out of a big city , but during the winter I must admit I dream of tropical islands a lot. And if the local hospital folks are reading this crap, you need to send people to specialist as fast as you can!!!!

  5. LocalT November 18, 2014 at 9:41 pm #


    If you were truly concerned you would already be aware of the services they recently upgraded to offer as well as their future plans for new services. That information is readily available whether it be online or by simply contacting NIH.

    Seems to me you’re just being cynical.

    • Trouble November 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

      LocalT- I’m dead serious, there’s a true saying around here, “don’t have a heart attack in bishop”. I’ve heard that at least twenty times. And I know I’m cynical, without regret!

  6. Trouble November 18, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    I hope their next press release announces all the new services their going to provide.


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