8 County Health Departments are Now Smoke Free

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

DOTHAN--Effective March 1st health departments in eight counties are now smoke-free.

"Dale, Barbour, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Coffee, Crenshaw and Pike," said Corey Kirkland with the Houston Co. Health Dept.

This ban includes smoking and chewing tobacco.

Health Department coordinators say this decision has a lot to do with practicing what you preach.

"We got a division that's dedicated to helping people quit and keeping youth from starting, So it was a good time frame for us to do it."

"As an ex smoker myself i think it's a fantastic idea that people are away from the second-hand smoke," said Tabacco Prevention Manager Judy Guiler.

Those employees and patients who want to smoke will now have to find a spot off campus.

"They would have to go off of our grounds, it would have to be on someone else's property."

"When you have statistics like 820 who died last year just from breathing someone else's smoke or 7500 who died in alabama from choosing to smoke, then you're concerned about their health," said Tobacco Control & Prevention Coordinator Michelle Garrett.

Judy Guiler smoked for 27 years and says even though there are free programs, the key to quitting is wanting it yourself..

"I started when I was 12 and i was 39 when i finally finished. when i finally wanted to quit for myself."

The health risks are also a big deciding factor.

"There are so many different types of cancers that come from cigarette smoke, it really affects your entire body."

Officials say they will soon hand courtesy cards to patients if they're caught smoking on the grounds just to remind them of the new policy.

If you need help to quit smoking you can call 1-800-quit now.

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