PUBLISHED: 4:53 PM on Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Bartlett Hospital goes tobacco free
Effective June 1, 2007 the use of tobacco products on the Bartlett Regional Hospital campus will be prohibited. The Board of Directors and hospital administration are working to get the word out that tobacco use will not be permissible on any of its property - inside or out.

On April 23, 2007 the City and Borough of Juneau passed ordinance 2007-20 which extends the CBJ Smoking Ban to include the campus of Bartlett Regional Hospital, the Bartlett House, the Juneau Medical Center, and Wildflower Court, and prohibits the use of smokeless tobacco products on the hospital tobacco-free campus.

"We're not telling people they can't smoke; what we're telling them is that they can't smoke or use any type of tobacco product on property," said Lennie Gorsuch, president of the Bartlett Regional Hospital Board of Directors.

Most people would agree, Gorsuch said, that smoking and a healthcare facility just don't go hand-in-hand. She understands that some smokers - patients, staff, visitors, and on-site contractors - won't be happy about the change, but the Board and hospital administration thought the ban was the right thing to do.

"We're not at the forefront of becoming a tobacco-free campus," she emphasized. "Most hospitals in the U.S. have done the same thing."

Bartlett's foremost concern is the comfort and care of its patients, including those who use tobacco.

The Hospital has a history of working with its tobacco-using patients to make their stay more comfortable and free from the symptoms of withdrawals.

Gorsuch noted that those hammering out the details of the new policy have the best interests of hospital's patients, visitors, and employees - smokers and non-smokers - in mind.