Frequently Asked Questions
What does smoke- and tobacco-free mean?
Humboldt General Hospital elected to go smoke-and tobacco-free, effective
May 1, 2012. This means smoking and/or tobacco use is not permitted on
the Humboldt General Hospital campus.
Why is Humboldt General Hospital going smoke- and tobacco-free?
Humboldt General Hospital is determined to provide a healthy, safe environment
for our patients, visitors and employees. Policies that discourage smoking
and tobacco use will improve our outcomes, and we are ready to lead out
in modeling positive behaviors for our community. Additionally, non-smoking
patients, visitors and employees deserve smoke-free, litter-free areas
surrounding HGH's entrances and other public spaces.
Where on campus does the smoking and tobacco ban apply? Is smoking or tobacco
use allowed inside cars?
Smoking and/or tobacco use is prohibited on all areas of the campus, inside
and outside. This includes medical office buildings, medical offices,
parking lots, outdoor areas or any other facilities maintained by HGH.
It also applies to the inside of cars that are parked on Humboldt General
Why not have designated smoking areas?
Smoking and second-hand smoke are known health hazards. Plus, researchers
are now concerned with third-hand smoke, the residual nicotine and other
chemicals left on a variety of surfaces by tobacco smoke. This residue
is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix.
This toxic mix of third-hand smoke contains cancer-causing substances,
posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers who are exposed to it,
especially children. Humboldt General Hospital strives to serve as a source
of health, healing, education and prevention. We are committed not just
to healing illness, but also to promoting wellness. Allowing smoking and/or
tobacco use on our campus, even in designated areas, is not consistent
with this commitment.
Why was smoking chosen rather than other health risks?
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United
States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one
in five deaths are related to smoking. Smoking is linked to several medical
conditions including cancer and heart and vascular diseases. In addition,
smoking is harmful to those who are near the person engaging in the behavior,
through second-hand smoke.
Isn't smoking a person's legal right?
We are not asking patients, visitors or employees to quit smoking, but
to refrain from smoking while visiting or working the Humboldt General
What kind of support is Humboldt General Hospital providing for employees
To assist employees who smoke, Humboldt General Hospital offers nicotine
replacement therapy, including patches, gum and lozenges, available to
employees at a discounted cost. Our website, www.hghospital.org, also
has valuable information and links to resources that will help smokers
quit or remain compliant with Humboldt General Hospital policy while continuing
to use tobacco products.
What kind of support is Humboldt General Hospital providing to inpatients
Patients are encouraged to notify admissions or their nurse of their use
of tobacco products. This information will be forwarded to their physician
who can make arrangements to provide support for these patients. Where
appropriate, Humboldt General Hospital will make nicotine replacement
therapy, including patches, gum and lozenges, available upon request of
the patient's attending physician.
I always hear that patient and customer satisfaction are Humboldt General
Hospital's top priority, yet banning smoking on campus is likely to
anger visitors who want to smoke. Why do it?
Patient welfare and safety are also Humboldt General Hospital's top
priorities. The majority of our patients, visitors and employees are non-smokers,
and they are entitled to smoke-free, litter-free areas surrounding all
HGH entrances and other public spaces. Although we recognize implementing
a smoke- and tobacco-free policy is challenging, we feel it is the right
thing to do for our patients, employees and community.
How will the smoke-free policy be enforced? What if someone refuses to
comply and continues to smoke?
The HGH workforce is empowered and expected to communicate this policy
with courtesy and diplomacy to other employees, patients, visitors, vendors,
contractors and other stakeholders. If the individual persists, management
will be contacted for additional assistance. If the issue cannot be resolved
at the management level, Humboldt General Hospital will ask for police support.
How do you communicate this policy to employees?
Humboldt General Hospital communicates with all employees through facility
signs; management, staff and other meetings; and via other communication
resources such as employee bulletins and emails. All employees are asked
to respect the organization's smoke- and tobacco-free policy. For
employees who do not comply, Human Resources will be contacted for coaching
and counseling. Employees observing a policy violation are asked to remind
visitors of the organization's policy and to seek management's
assistance when necessary.
How do you communicate this policy to patients, visitors, vendors, contractors
Humboldt General Hospital communicates the smoke- and tobacco-free policy
with all patients seeking services at time of registration or admission,
through facility signage and through other patient communication resources.
Patients are not be permitted to smoke or use tobacco products while on
campus. If an employee observes a patient smoking, the individual will
be reminded of the policy and asked to refrain from smoking. If the patient
persists, management will be contacted for additional assistance. Should
the patient leave the campus while admitted, then it is classified as
"against medical authorization," and the manager of the unit
must be contacted for appropriate intervention.