The new policy includes the hospital and
medical center campus, and all Marshall Health satellite offices.
Shumaker is the Media and Community Relations Manager for Cabell Huntington
Hospital. He feels it’s the hospitals’ responsibility to make this decision.
“By creating this tobacco-free policy
for our entire campus and our facilities we just feel like it’s the right thing
to do for those families, the patients, the employees and our surrounding
community because we need to provide an example and it further enhances our
commitment to providing a safe, healthy environment,” Shumaker said.
The hospital banned smoking indoors years
ago but last year designated two smoking areas outside. That was just the first step in a process to
eliminate tobacco use on the campus that will culminate in November.
“As a health care provider in the region
we felt we needed to set an example for our patients and visitors and those who
come onto our campus, It was a natural progression from our first step in this
process, fast forward to this November the 15th and step two when
those two areas will be eliminated and it will be prohibited on the campus,” Shumaker
Cabell will offer smoking cessation courses and
resources to employees and the community. Visitors will be offered free
nicotine-replacement gum to curb their craving for tobacco. Cabell and the
Marshall Medical School aren’t the only ones headed toward a tobacco-free
campus. Marshall University officials on the main campus have been closely
examining the issue since last spring. Ray Harrell is the Student Body President.
“Well I think it’s probably part of a
culture change we’ve seen here in our country in the past five or ten years
ever since smoking regulations started and I think that the more people get used
to not being around it, particularly non-smokers of course, the less they want
to be around it when they are exposed to it,” Harrell said.
Student body surveys indicated a want to
rid the campus of smoke. Harrell was charged by University President Stephen
Kopp with creating a committee that would examine the prospects of going
tobacco-free. Harrell said it’s less about it being an enforceable regulation
and more about creating an atmosphere where tobacco and smoking aren’t
“The idea behind it, that’s been used on
a strong majority of campuses nationwide, is a self-regulation mechanism sort
of inserting that expectation into the culture of campus that that’s not
something we do anymore or at all,” Harrell said.
Harrell and the committee will present a
proposal next week to a student government council. If passed it will head up
the ladder to the Board of Governors. Harrell said if things work out a tobacco
ban could be in place by mid-April 2013. Harrell hopes the proposed
tobacco-free campus is what students and faculty want.
“Yeah I think the committee has done a
great job of working throughout the campus and feeling the concerns of the
different constituencies that are recommended on the committee and we feel like
hopefully the university will be behind it,” Harrell said.
Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall
Health and the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center will go tobacco-free on
November 15, National Smoke-out day. Other campuses in the state
are heading toward tobacco-free as well. WVU will go tobacco-free on July 1,