LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death according to the CDC. It leads to disease and disability, and harms nearly every organ of the body which is why Comanche County Memorial Hospital is a tobacco free campus.
You might see signs like these posted all around the hospital… No smoking…
That’s because CCMH is a tobacco free campus.
“It’s really important that as a healthcare facility, that we put people’s health first.”
Sandy Foster is the Healthy Living Program director. She says they are tobacco free not only to encourage people to quit smoking, but to protect those who are exposed to secondhand smoke.
“If you are known to have any kind of heart disease, when you are exposed to secondhand smoke, that risk of having a myocardial infarction, or a heart attack are increased….secondhand smoke is what is admitted or the ashes or the smoke that comes off of whatever is being used.”
Foster says there is also something called third hand smoke which are the particles released when you exhale. She says those particles are poisonous and can be cancer causing. It attaches to walls, carpets, and even your children’s toys.
“If you do have kids you know that they are always on the ground. They are crawling on the ground. They’re picking all of that up. And it’s a poison… Nicotine actually is a poison, it’s a pesticide. And so you certainly don’t want your kids being exposed to that.”
In Oklahoma, 26 percent of adults smoke, according to the CDC. Foster says to get that number down, we have to educate our youth. CCMH’s Healthy Living program works with kids to teach them to stay tobacco free. They helped clean up Elmer Thomas Park, filling up a whole jar with used cigarettes they picked up.
“It’s really important to make sure that they never start. They need to learn how the tobacco industry targets them. How they market to them. They go after them.”
Foster says it’s important that everyone feels like they can ask someone not to smoke, especially in places like the hospital where it is not allowed.
If you or someone you know needs help kicking the habit you can call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-quit-now or visit okhelpline.com. Foster says Oklahoma’s Helpline is the only one to provide a free two-week supply of patches, gum or lozenges.
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