Special to the Bulletin

When Brownwood Regional Medical Center announced that effective Nov. 16, the hospital and all affiliated campuses will become smoke-free, it joined a growing list of businesses and organizations that are banning smoking in an effort to promote better health.

“Our decision to go smoke-free is consistent with our mission to promote health and wellness for the citizens of this community and it is increasingly consistent with similar actions being taken by other municipalities, hospitals and businesses across the country,” Matt Maxfield, CEO of Brownwood Regional Medical Center (BRMC), said.

Smoking bans are becoming more common. Earlier this year Abilene passed a city-wide ordinance banning smoking in public places. In support of the ordinance both Abilene Regional Medical Center and Hendrick Health Systems enforced the ban on their campuses.

Likewise, other healthcare providers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have banned tobacco use on their property. Those facilities include Huguley Memorial Medical Center, North Hills Hospital, Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth and Baylor Medical Center at Southwest Fort Worth.

On Nov. 15, Texas Health Resources will implement a smoking ban on its campuses.

To assist patients and visitors who smoke, Brownwood Regional Medical Center has developed strategies for relieving nicotine cravings while patients are hospitalized.

“We recognize that nicotine is very addictive,” Pam Craig, Chief Nursing Officer for BRMC, said. “Our hospital, employees and medical staff will be ready to assist those who are having cravings.”

Likewise, Brownwood Regional Medical Center has developed “Easy Breathing Business” support packets for local businesses who may want to join the smoke-free initiative.

The packet contains information and tools for taking your business smoke-free. To receive a packet, call Donna Hair at 649-3392.