A week from today, almost all of Missouri’s hospitals will put broad new no-smoking policies in effect. They’re getting a jump on proposed rules the state health department will put into effect next July. Hospitals have had smoking bans in their buildings for some time. But the new programs will let hospitals ban tobacco use of any kind anywhere on their property. Vice President Dave Dillon with the Missouri Hospital Association says the next 11 months will allow hospitals to educate staff and the public. He says the Health Department’s regulation is written in such a way that hospitals can probably sit tight with their present no-smoking policies. But he says most hospitals are writing policies covering their entire campus–including parking lots and garages… Dillon says a lot of hospitals are finding visitors and patients are surprised such regulations are not already in place. He says he does no think hospitals will be punitive if somebody lights up on their property. But he doesn’t think they’ll be very tolerant either.
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