LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — A Maryland hospital system has vowed to stop hiring nicotine and tobacco users starting next year.
Anne Arundel Medical Center announced this week that it plans to “take a leadership position as a major employer in Maryland” by setting the strict standard against all tobacco use.
“While Anne Arundel Medical Center has been ‘smoke-free’ since 2007, the current policy has been primarily focused on the medical park campus has been limited to cigarette use,” according to a news release.
An expanded policy, which will go into effect on July 1, “will apply to all AAMC facilities and tobacco-free zones will include sidewalks, parking lots and garages.”
There will be no designated-smoking areas.
The policy against hiring nicotine users will go into effect a year later, on July 1, 2015.
“As healthcare providers, we have a unique perspective on the issues surrounding chronic disease. We not only treat disease, but we are also role models for good health behaviors in our community. It is only right to practice what we preach,” says John Martin, MD, AAMC’s medical director of vascular surgery.
Dr. Stephen Cattaneo, medical director of thoracic oncology in the DeCesaris Cancer Institute at AAMC, says many other prominent organizations – such as the Cleveland Clinic, the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania and the World Health Organization – are also tobacco-free institutions.
AAMC is headquartered in Annapolis but has several healthcare facilities scattered throughout the area.