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Thanks to Russellville Hospital

Published 5:59am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I am grateful to the leaders at Russellville Hospital for considering the health of their employees, patients and visitors in enacting a 100-percent tobacco-free policy.

The new rules will prohibit the use of any form of tobacco inside or outside on hospital property.

Personally, I think it’s much needed, and I hope other healthcare institutions and communities take their own steps toward implementing tobacco-free policies.

We know tobacco use is a scourge on the health of our state. Years of research has shown that tobacco products are not safe.

They cause lung and other cancers, heart disease and stroke, and a whole host of other illnesses. The U.S. Surgeon General has said that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Still, thousands of Alabamans die every year from exposure to secondhand smoke, and thousands more die as a result of their own smoking.

Additionally, 10,000 kids under 18 become daily smokers every year. Treating people with tobacco-related illnesses costs our state millions in health care costs every year.

I support Russellville Hospital’s decision because of my own experience as a cancer survivor.

I am not only a cancer survivor concerned about my health, I am an ex-smoker, and the daughter of a man who died to early from emphysema caused by smoking.

I know first-hand what tobacco can do to your health and your loved ones.

Thank you, Russellville Hospital for taking this important step.



 Belinda Johnson

 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer


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