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Starting Jan. 1, Allegheny Health Network Will Ban Smoking On Its Grounds

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, no workers, visitors or patients will be allowed to smoke on any Allegheny Health Network grounds.

“Anybody whose walked into any facility, health care or otherwise, who has to walk through smoke or be exposed to smoke, it's not a pleasant thing if you're not a smoker," said Allegheny Health Network spokesman Dan Laurent, "particularly in a facility that’s dedicated to preserving health and promoting health.”

Smoking is already not allowed inside Allegheny Health Network facilities.

Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills and Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, two Allegheny Health Network Hospitals already prohibit smoking on their grounds.

“We now believe it's in the best interest of the vast majority of those who visit and work at our facilities. As a health care organization, we believe we have an obligation to set a good example for our community, to project a healthy image, to promote healthy lifestyle,” said Laurent, who added that there is also an obligation to protect patients.

Allegheny Health Network's new rules aren’t as stringent as UPMC’s, which prohibit workers from smoking during the workday, even during breaks taken off UPMC grounds. UPMC’s regulations went into effect this summer.

At least half and possibly three quarters of the nation’s hospital campuses are smoke free.