The Centers for Disease Control is notorious for their anti-smoking Public Service Announcements. Some of them are very graphic, but their message is clear: smoking kills. Twelve hundred people die each day from tobacco use, and the numbers do not end there.
“There's good data now that says second hand smoke increases your risk of various types of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Just like regular cigarette smoking does,” said Dr. Marvin Sexton, a pulmonologist at Southeast Alabama Medical Center, or SAMC.
Doctors said smoking fuels the fire to just about any type of cancer, so SAMC is taking action. Since smoking is the number one preventable cause of death, on January 1st, 2014, the Medical Center and its 17 campuses will be smoke free. They will get rid of all benches, smoking poles, and smoking huts on their properties.
“There’s nothing you can do to your body that is worse than smoking cigarettes. And if we're going to be in the business of promoting people’s health and well being, we just have to stop that,” explained Dr. Sexton.
SAMC employees have been smoke free since 2009, and this is not the first hospital in the state to ban tobacco. In fact, it is the ninth. Hospitals across the nation are teaming with the American Cancer Society to make, what some call, cancer sticks go up in flames.