Cleveland Clinic is a world leader with its smoke-free policies
In August 2009, Cleveland Clinic received an international award for its leadership in initiating anti-smoking policies across its campuses. The Tom Hurst Award for Smoke-Free Hospitals is given annually by the International Network Towards Smoke-Free Hospitals.
Cleveland Clinic made its entire health system, including main campus hospital, eight community hospitals and 15 family health centers, smoke free beginning in July 2005. It supported antismoking efforts throughout Ohio, culminating in a 2006 statewide ban on smoking in the workplace and in public spaces.
In addition, President and CEO Delos M. Cosgrove, MD, and Cleveland Clinic’s leaders stopped hiring tobacco users; made smoking cessation programs free to current employees; and, in January 2007, began offering free smoking cessation programs to residents of Cuyahoga County. In four years, the county’s smoking rate dropped from 28 percent to 18 percent. “I may have saved, by that decision, more lives than I did in 30 years as a heart surgeon,” Dr. Cosgrove told an interviewer on National Public Radio in September 2009.
The award is named for Tom Hurst, a pioneer in non-smoking initiatives and a former president of the Institute of Hospital Administrators. He founded the London-based International Network Towards Smoke-Free Hospitals.
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