A Smoke-Free Environment
We're Smoke-Free Because We Care
As a health care organization, Meridian Health is committed to the health and safety of our patients, guests, and team members. One of the most significant contributors to serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, and cancer is smoking, and second-hand smoke has been shown to contribute to the health problems of those around us. That's why Meridian partnered with the American Cancer Society and other hospitals and health care systems throughout the state to become a totally smoke-free environment as of November 20, 2008.
With a mission to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve, we believe that we have a responsibility to take a leadership role on this major health issue, and allowing people to use tobacco products defeats this purpose. Therefore, we prohibit the use of tobacco products on hospital grounds and all off-site properties owned or leased by Meridian Health. This includes sidewalks, walkways, driveways, and parking areas/parking garages. Our decision to be smoke-free is not an attempt to force anyone to quit using tobacco products; however, help is available for those who wish to quit.
- American Cancer Society: cancer.org or 800-ACS-2345
- American Lung Association, Freedom from Smoking®: ffsonline.org or 800-548-8252
- New Jersey QuitNet: njquitnet.com
- New Jersey Quitline: 866-NJ-STOPS
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is Meridian Health banning tobacco use from our campuses?
A: Meridian Health is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve. By becoming completely smoke-free, we are furthering our mission and in doing so, we are setting the example of wellness and prevention that is important to our patients, team members and community. Implementation of smoke-free campuses sends a clear message of Meridian's commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, many hospitals and health systems both locally and nationally have either gone smoke-free or have announced plans to do so soon.
Q: What does smoke-free campus mean?
A: As of November 20, 2008, smoking and the use of tobacco products (includes but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff and pipe smoking) are not permitted by anyone on any property owned, rented, or leased by Meridian Health, or in hospital owned/leased vehicles.
Q: To whom does the policy apply?
A: All persons, including team members, volunteers, students, patients, visitors, vendors, contractors and others who work in or visit hospital buildings, parking lots and grounds.
Q: Where on the campuses does the smoke-free policy apply? Is smoking allowed inside cars?
A: Tobacco use is prohibited on all areas of the campus, inside and outside, including inside cars that are parked on hospital property.
Q: Do employees, patients and visitors have to quit using tobacco?
A: No. Hospitals are not forcing anyone to quit. This policy means individuals can't use tobacco products on hospital property.
Q: What about individual rights?
A: Hospitals want to maintain a healthy environment for patients and visitors, as well as for team members. For this reason, we ask that individuals refrain from using tobacco products on our campuses.
Q: Why don't you have smoking huts that are designated outdoor locations?
A: Smoking and secondhand smoke are known health hazards. As a health care institution, we are committed to not just healing illness, but also to promoting wellness. Allowing smoking on our campus, even in designated areas, is not consistent with this commitment. We do not want our patients, visitors and team members to be exposed to secondhand smoke while on our campuses and grounds.
Q: What kind of support is being offered to visitors while on the hospital campus?
A: Visitors who wish to use tobacco must leave the hospital grounds in order to do so. The hospital can also provide you with a "Quit Kit" to make your visit more comfortable.