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2009 Press Releases
Morton Plant North Bay Hospital Joins Pasco County’s Tobacco-Free Initiative
Hospital’s Grounds to be Tobacco Free Effective July 6, 2009

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla., (February 24, 2009)¾ As part of its mission to improve the health of the community, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is joining the Pasco County Health Department’s tobacco-free initiative by declaring July 6, 2009 as “Freedom from Tobacco Day.”

“As of July 6, 2009, our hospital campus will be tobacco free,” said John Couris, chief operating officer, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital. “We are very excited to be a part of the county’s tobacco free initiative. It’s an important step in creating a healthier environment for everyone who enters or works on our hospital campus.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, tobacco use kills nearly half a million Americans each year. One in every six U.S. deaths can be attributed as a result of smoking. The American Cancer Society states that tobacco smoke causes nearly nine out of 10 cases of lung cancer. Non-smokers exposed to tobacco smoke in the workplace are also more likely to get lung cancer.

The buildings of Morton Plant North Bay Hospital are currently tobacco free and patients are encouraged not to smoke during their hospital stay. “When July 6 comes, tobacco use will not be permitted on any of our grounds or property and our designated smoking area will close,” said Couris.

“We realize that most smokers are dealing with a nicotine addiction and we know that makes not smoking at work difficult. We have put together a system of support for our staff members to help them deal with the challenges of not smoking while at work,” said Couris. The hospital has scheduled a series of health fairs beginning in March and will be making smoking cessation information aides available to its staff.

For more information contact Anna Allen, media relations coordinator at 727-461-8538 or Beth Hardy, public relations manager, at 727-298-6199.

Established in 1965, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is a 122-bed facility committed to improving the health of everyone it serves. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is located at 6600 Madison Street, New Port Richey, Fla., (727) 842-8468.