On June 1, 2016, Rutland Regional became tobacco-free. No tobacco use of any kind is permitted – inside or outside – on our main campus and off-site locations.
Why are we taking this important step?
As a healthcare organization, we are committed to the health and safety of our employees and patients. We believe that we have a responsibility to take a leadership role on this major health issue and hope that we can motivate people to take steps to live healthier lives.
Our decision to go tobacco-free is not an attempt to "force" anyone to quit using tobacco products. Rather, the tobacco-free initiative is just one way we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to healthy living.
Tom Huebner, CEO and Dr. Rick Hildebrant discuss why Rutland Regional is becoming a tobacco-free campus
What does this mean for our patients and visitors?
Hospitals are expected to be healthy environments. For the safety of patients and visitors we have removed all designated smoke areas. Providing a place to use tobacco products doesn’t support our mission to sustain and improve the health of individuals in our communities.
If you are a smoker and wish to become tobacco-free, Rutland Regional offers a variety of resources including in-person support groups and telephone phone support. For more information, visit our Smoking Cessation page.
As the second largest healthcare facility in Vermont, Rutland Regional has a national reputation for outstanding patient care, nursing excellence and innovation. US News & World Report has recognized Rutland Regional as one of America’s Best Hospitals to receive common care and Healthgrades® named Rutland Regional among the top 10% in the Nation for Outstanding Patient Experience and Patient Safety, along with "high performing" designations for its clinical performance in Pacemaker Procedures, Prostate Surgery and Total Knee Replacement. Recently designated for a second time, Rutland Regional is a Magnet® hospital, providing the highest level of recognition for quality nursing care.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the "Tobacco-free" designation mean and how is a "hospital campus" defined?
- Tobacco-free: This term is used to describe both 100-percent Tobacco-free areas as well as segregated and ventilated areas. A truly Tobacco-free environment in a business is one in which no tobacco use is allowed within any company building.
- Campus: This refers to the hospital grounds, including the off-site buildings of Rutland Regional.
What about the use of electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes, also known as E-Cigarettes, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. E-Cigarettes are NOT permitted under the Tobacco-free campus policy.
Can I smoke or use other tobacco products in my car?
Tobacco use is prohibited in cars parked on all Rutland Regional properties.
Is anyone exempt from the smoking or tobacco use prohibition on hospital properties?
No. This policy is universally applied to everyone and anyone on hospital property, including off-site locations.
What will happen to those discovered smoking or using tobacco on hospital properties?
Anyone using tobacco products will be respectfully asked to stop and to honor the tobacco-free policy. Tobacco Cessation resources, such as "We Care Kits," are available in the Gift Shop, Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and through Security to help ease discomfort for smokers visiting our campus.
What about events that occur at Rutland Regional facilities?
All events occurring on any facility will be covered by the Tobacco-free policy.
Where can I go to use tobacco products?
If you need to use Tobacco, you will need to leave sight of any Rutland Regional property.
Why won't Rutland Regional just designate smoking areas?
- Providing a place for Tobacco use doesn’t support the mission to sustain and improve the health of individuals in the community.
- Hospitals are expected to be healthy environments, and this approach advances our efforts to provide a healthy and safe environment for patients, visitors, employees, physicians and volunteers.
- Allowing smoking areas would signal approval of smoking, which is not a good health message.
- Rutland Regional can and will lead by example, rather than explaining a shortcoming away.
Why is tobacco use the focus? How is it different than sugar, caffeine or other health risks?
This campaign targets tobacco use, as a behavior, and its deadly effects on human health. Smoking affects everyone; this is not personal or directed at the smoker or tobacco-products user. Rutland Regional wants to set a true example of a healthy lifestyle and provide a healthy environment for everyone. While a variety of life situations may be viewed as unhealthy, smoking and tobacco use are being addressed due to their significant and direct affects, as highlighted by the following facts:
- Smoking costs the United States approximately $150 billion each year in health care costs and lost productivity
- Smoking is a significant factor in heart disease, cancer, stroke and lung disease
- A smokers broken bones take almost twice as long to heal as a non-smoker
- More than 430,000 people die prematurely each year from smoking-related diseases
- Secondhand smoke can cause or exacerbate a wide range of adverse health effects, including cancer, respiratory infections and asthma
- Secondhand smoke has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of cancer in humans
- Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke
Isn't smoking a personal right?
Tobacco is a legal product for adults. Rutland Regional is not forcing anyone to discontinue tobacco-use, however resources and education will be provided in an effort to encourage healthy choices. The new policy supports the right of all people on the campus to breathe Tobacco-free air. Rutland Regional can establish policies for its employees which protect the health and wellness of all employees and visitors who present at our facility. A Tobacco-free policy does not prohibit tobacco use; it merely establishes where use can occur. The simple reason for our policy is respect for each other and the environment. Employees and visitors who choose to continue smoking must do so away from Rutland Regional Medical Center facilities.