Caldwell Memorial Hospital to Become Tobacco-Free in 2006

Caldwell Memorial Hospital has made an historic resolution for 2006: to become tobacco-free, according to Laura Easton, President and CEO.  The move will include the hospital along with all its practices and affiliates.

"Caldwell Memorial Hospital is taking this action to further the mission of the Hospital to promote healthy lifestyles by encouraging freedom from tobacco use in our community," said Easton. "Our facility is joining with other healthcare institutions in western North Carolina to become a tobacco-free campus on February 14, 2006.  Together, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Cannon Memorial Hospital, Catawba Valley Medical Center, Frye Regional Medical Center, Grace Hospital, Valdese Hospital and Watauga Medical Center will be embarking on this important health initiative.

Employees, medical staff and hospital volunteers who use tobacco are not required to quit, but only refrain from using tobacco products while on hospital properties.  However, if an employee or volunteer wants to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco, CMH will provide a variety of programs designed to help them.

Patients, patient family members, visitors and vendors will also be required to honor the tobacco-free policy while on hospital properties including the parking lots.

Creating tobacco-free environments at area hospitals and medical centers should reduce tobacco consumption, protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke exposure, reduce healthcare costs, reduce maintenance costs, increase productivity, reduce liability and reduce fire insurance costs.  In addition, children and those with asthma and other disabilities affected by smoke will benefit from the policy.  Most importantly, tobacco-free facilities will set a positive example in their communities of the importance of protecting the health of our patients, employees, volunteers, and visitors.

Tobacco Use Statistics:

  • More than 440,000 people die prematurely each year from tobacco-related diseases.  This accounts for a greater number of deaths than those caused by alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicides, suicides, car crashes, fires and AIDS combined. 
  • Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable deaths in North Carolina.  One (1) in 5 deaths in N.C. can be attributed to smoking.
  • Tobacco use is a factor in heart disease, cancer, stroke, and lung disease.
  • More than 6.4 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents the decision to smoke cigarettes.
  • Smokers have twice the risk of wound infections as nonsmokers.
  • Smoking slows the body's healing process.

Caldwell Memorial Hospital (CMH) is the private, not-for-profit, community hospital in Lenoir, North Carolina.  A part of the Caldwell County family since 1951, the mission of Caldwell Memorial Hospital is to provide safe, effective, compassionate care and to promote healthy lifestyles to our community.