Oceanside, CA – Tri-City Medical Center (TCMC) is taking the next step in helping to create a healthy community by becoming a completely smoke-free campus. The Tri-City Healthcare District Board of Directors unanimously approved the new smoking policy on September 25 at their regular Board meeting. As of November 20, the date of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke-Out, smoking will no longer be permitted on the medical center campus.

“Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States,” said Suellyn Ellerbe, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Administrator at TCMC. “Secondhand smoke is a known cause of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Prohibiting smoking on campus and providing support to those who wish to quit is one way our hospital can contribute to the health and wellness of our community.”

Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 438,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco smoke.

“This policy is so important because we are providers of healthcare for our community and they deserve a facility that encourages health and wellbeing,” said Larry Schallock, Chairman of the Tri-City Healthcare District Board of Directors. “Although we’re not forcing anyone to quit smoking, we will certainly be working to help our employees who desire to quit smoking and to encourage and help them during this transition.”

To support a smoke-free environment and to aid employees and volunteers who may want to quit smoking, several resources and options are being offered at little or no cost.