Hospital applauded

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tobacco users face a higher risk for certain diseases, experience greater health care costs and have a shorter life expectancy than non-tobacco users.

This is not our opinion; it is a statement of fact.

It makes sense then that doctors’ offices, hospitals and other health care facilities would take a hard line approach regarding tobacco-use on their property.

Southampton Memorial Hospital, which has long banned smoking inside its facility, will soon be transforming its campus and associated locations to tobacco-free environments. It is a decision that the community’s largest health care facility should make, and we applaud them for it.

There is a small contingent that has complained the hospital has overstepped its bounds by telling an employee she can’t take a smoke break inside her vehicle in the parking lot. We couldn’t disagree more.

The hospital is taking steps to be a leader in the efforts to make this community healthier. Considering Franklin is one of the unhealthiest localities in Virginia, the hospital’s leadership is coming not a minute too soon.