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News Release

Media Contact:
Christina Chavira
Communications Specialist
530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell
christina.chavira@enloe.org

Enloe Medical Center to go tobacco-free starting Feb. 14

CHICO, Calif., Feb. 11, 2013 – In keeping with a commitment to improve the health care of patients and the community, Enloe Medical Center will become tobacco-free at all campuses starting Feb. 14. Tobacco use will be prohibited within Enloe facilities and grounds. This includes smokeless cigarettes, which emit nicotine and other toxins, as well as chewing tobacco. Following a new City of Chico ordinance, Enloe earlier prohibited smoking within 20 feet of doors and operable windows.

Patients who will need support following this policy are encouraged to request nicotine replacement through their physician before they are admitted to the medical center. Enloe has communicated with physician offices in advance so they can help prepare their patients who will be admitted. For those who are ready to quit smoking, personal support is available through the California Smokers’ Helpline, at 1-800-No-Butts.

Starting the new policy on Valentine’s Day and during National Heart Month reminds us of the benefit that limiting exposure to smoke and second-hand smoke can provide to heart health – among the many other health benefits.

The U.S. Surgeon General says there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. With over 7,000 chemicals, at least 70 of which are cancer-causing, even brief exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Secondhand smoke is also a serious health threat for nonsmoking adults. Smoking causes lung cancer in those who haven't previously smoked and increases the risk for heart disease, stroke and chronic lung problems. California Air Resources Board classified secondhand smoke as a “Toxic Air Contaminant” in the same category as asbestos, cyanide and arsenic. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and increases the risk of:

  • Coronary heart disease by two to four times
  • Stroke by two to four times
  • Lung cancer in men by 23 times and lung cancer in women by 13 times
  • Chronic obstructive lung diseases (chronic bronchitis and emphysema) by 12 to 13 times

Enloe Medical Center’s locations are the hospital on the Esplanade as well as surrounding office buildings, including the Enloe Conference Center, where events and meetings are held; Fountain Medical Plaza, the Enloe Regional Cancer Center and the Enloe Cohasset Campus, all on Cohasset Road; the Enloe Rehabilitation Center on East Avenue; the Enloe Lassen Campus on Lassen Avenue; the Enloe Wound/Ostomy and Hyperbaric Center on Mangrove; the Enloe Outpatient Center off Bruce Road, on Lakeside Village Commons and the Los Molinos Family Health Center in Tehama County.

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Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif.  95926.

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