Editor:

On Tuesday McAlester Regional Health Center will join many Oklahoma hospitals, businesses and agencies by providing a tobacco free campus.

MRHC recently passed a policy to ban the use of tobacco on its property. Current law requires that hospitals and other businesses provide a smoke free environment inside their facilities.

With this policy, MRHC is going a step further to protect the health of patients and visitors, setting an example as an agency committed to improving public health.

Tobacco use causes the premature death of 6,000 Oklahomans annually, an average of 16 people a day. Policy change, prevention efforts and cessation programs combined will help reduce disease and death caused by tobacco, thus improving the health of all Oklahomans.

Businesses that provide and support a tobacco free workplace are not only protecting their employees from secondhand smoke, they are also encouraging them to reduce their tobacco use and quit altogether.

This new tobacco free campus policy will no doubt impact and improve the health of our entire community.

Michael Echelle

Administrator,

Pittsburg County Health Departmen

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