Want to smoke? Not near the hospital you won’t

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06/28/2011 6:19 PM |

Smoking in the hospital has long been verboten, and pretty soon there will be no lighting up anywhere near the facility.

On July 5 Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport will go smoke-free, meaning smoking will not be permitted anywhere on hospital grounds.

“As a healthcare provider, we believe it is our responsibility to promote good health habits and discourage habits that increase health risks,” said Paul Connor, hospital president and CEO. He said the switch is being made in collaboration with the Suffolk County health department to reduce tobacco use.

ELIH officials contend that smoking on hospital grounds is a fire hazard and that discarded cigarette butts reaching nearby Stirling Harbor can be an environmental hazard as well.

The hospital quotes Center for Disease Control figures saying close to 60 percent of American children age 3 to 11, almost 22 million, are exposed to secondhand smoke, which has been liked to heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory infections in children.

More than 126 million nonsmoking Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke, the hospital said, with most exposure occurring in homes and workplaces.

Information on how to stop smoking is available by calling 1-866-NY–QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or at www.nysmokefree.com.