Northern Inyo Hospital to go tobacco-free

nih4-18– Press release

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

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.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Victoria Alexander-Lane, NIH’s Chief Executive Officer. “As a hospital it is important that we educate and model healthy behaviors. Smoking remains one of the most preventable causes of death in the world. We must put our patients and their families first, and do everything we can to provide a healthy, tobacco-free environment.”

Alexander-Lane said the hospital definitely faces new challenges with this new policy. “But in the long run, this positive change will benefit everyone who comes to Northern Inyo Hospital,” she said.

The policy covers the hospital’s main campus at 150 Pioneer Lane and all NIH buildings including:

  • Bishop Women’s Health Center
  • Rural Health Clinic
  • Northern Inyo Eye Center (Dr. Thomas Reid’s Office)
  • Pioneer Medical Building
  • Birch Street Business Annex

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.

 

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33 Comments
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earl duran
earl duran
7 years ago

Maybe the Hospital should ban sodas they are very unhealthy.

Tom O
Tom O
7 years ago
Reply to  earl duran

Me drinking a soda does nothing to your health..unlike smoking.

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago

Trouble, I’m not questioning the fact that you are a former smoker. You lose credibility when you make erroneous arguments or statements. Your argument comparing a hospital smoking ban to a campground campfire ban is erroneous. Those two issues are similar in nature but the context in which you compare… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  LocalT

LocalT, maybe someday you’ll realize that people need to want to stop on their own terms. Shoving it down their throats will do nothing but make matters worse. I believe that. You take care.

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago

LocalT- I stopped smoking after 30 years of very much enjoying it. Then you are going to tell me I have no credibility to speak here. Really?

Mark
Mark
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

I smoke trout.

They’re hard to roll and even harder to light.

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Thxs for the laugh Mark! I needed that!

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
7 years ago

…or they could just not smoke.

(second try)

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

One thing is for sure, times are a changing. But……………………

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago

All these second hand smoke arguments are close to baloney when you look at all the outdoor area at Bishops hospital. It’s got to sit on close to a square mile. Give the smokers a picnic table and ash trey and ban all the over barring administrators from the hospital… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

…or people could just not smoke.

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble, NIH property is nowhere near 1 square mile. Not even close. It’s barely 10 acres. Designated smoking areas don’t work. The idea sounds reasonable but the reality is smokers don’t want these areas too far from building entrances which is problematic. If smoking areas are designated too close to… Read more »

sugarmagnolia
sugarmagnolia
7 years ago

seems to me e-cigarettes could be a solution here. My dad lives in a nursing home, the only time he gets sunshine or fresh air is when my mom wheels him outside. She is a non-smoker who had COPD from second hand smoke exposure. Every single sitting area outside at… Read more »

Clyde Av
Clyde Av
7 years ago

Only in Bishop. Most hospitals in this state went smoke free 10 years ago. Using the constitutional rights as an argument to continue a habit which does affect other people come on. So the smokers will have to walk out to Line st and walk on the sidewalk to puff… Read more »

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago

I think this is completely reasonable. It’s a hospital, not a local bar. Smoking has no place in or around hospitals. People shouldn’t be allowed to smoke on the premises. A complete ban is most effective as I see distance regulations violated on a daily basis (no smoking within 20ft… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  LocalT

LocalT- you ought push the hospital to get a heart surgeon instead. All Bishop does is fly the critically ill to Reno anyway. Who cares if someone is outside smoking a cigarette? Get over it.

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

NIH does the best they can with the limited resources available to them. Professional recruitment is extremely challenging in such a unique setting. Also, NIH serves a relatively small population compared to most hospitals. Comparing a smoking ban to the absence of a heart surgeon in terms of hospital care… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  LocalT

“Limited resources”. They just got a state of the art hospital built for them. The administrators need to get specialist here now and stop trying to look tuff in the local throw aways.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Most doctors, like most other highly trained professionals, want to work someplace with all the amenities. Be honest. Out here we just don’t have them. If you want to buy fine furniture, high end clothing (Hugo Boss or Armani suits for example), luxury cars, etc, or high quality ethnic foods… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  LocalT

LocalT- your comment “can’t believe people still defend smokers” makes my head spin in total disbelief. It’s not a crime to smoke. I know the media and insurance folks are yapping up a storm just like these hospital folks and you. But some people are going to smoke,, like it… Read more »

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

It’s all about context here. We are talking about a smoking ban on hospital property. NIH is not saying smokers can’t smoke. They are sim[ply saying smokers cannot smoke on their property. It’s similar to the old “No shirt, No Shoes, No Service” policies. You have the right to I… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  LocalT

LocalT- It would be a dark day before I lectured out anyone for doing something I did for thirty years. I’m glad I’ve stopped, but hate hypocrites. Degrading people with addictions and even making them criminals for their actions is not going to help them in any way. Just make… Read more »

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble, Degrading people with addiction? How are smokers being degraded here? I’m not a smoker but I have immediate family members who smoke. While I have compassion for them as family members, I do not condone their destructive behavior and I make every effort to help them quit. We all… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

LocalT- In my honest opinion as a ex-smoker your comments and defined type of help are doing more harm than good to people trying to stop. Being a jerk and making it harder to light up just pushes a smoker futher away from you . P.S. I hope your friends… Read more »

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble,

Being a jerk? You have me scratching my head.

Check out the most recent Sierra Wave story on the NIH smoking ban. Long before the ban, NIH helped smoker employees begin the process of quitting by assisting them in finding help and NIH even covered necessary expenses.

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  LocalT

LocalT – I know I have a twisted way of looking at things, but this one hits home to me. It’s like their banning all smokers from even wanting to go to the hospital. I remember when my dad and doctor smoke in the hospital while my mom was giving… Read more »

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble,

You are mistaken about smokers outside not hurting anyone. See Sugarmagnolia’s comment below.That is a perfect example of how detrimental and inconvenient smokers can be to others in a healthcare setting.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

I can smell the smoke from someone smoking in the car in front of me. It’s an awful smell.

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

That’s overkill. You act like their traped in a burning building. May be they should ban camp fires at the girl scout camps? Better yet ban campfires and fire places. What’s next?

LocalT
LocalT
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble, Your arguments are quickly losing credibility. Your square mile comment and now this erroneous argument have me questioning your ability to create logical arguments. Try to keep it at least in the same ballpark. Referencing a more recent Sierra Wave publication, do campfires “result in nearly 1 in 5… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

DT- I still like the smell of as you call it ” second hand smoke” . God I miss it!

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago

I can understand inside, but outside is just wrong. Smokers will walk away from needed help over a smoke. I know, I smoked for 30 years .

AK
AK
7 years ago

Really! I am a non smoker, but give me a break. I know smoking is not healthy, and the hospital wants to set a good example, but they are treating cigarettes like they are an illegal drug. I can understand all of this except for the fact that you can’t… Read more »