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Respiratory Health

Louisiana Hospital to Ban Odor of Smoke on Workers' Clothes

Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria will implement an anti-tobacco policy for its entire campus starting July 1 of next year, expanding the policy put in place two years ago for employees of the women's and children's areas.

The Town Talk reports the policy will prohibit the use of tobacco products by employees while on their shifts, including when they are on breaks. It also will not allow employees to work if their clothing smells like smoke.

"About a month or two ago we sent a letter to all of our associates to their homes," hospital administrator Lisa R. Lauve said. "We sent a letter notifying them that they had a year to make whatever adjustments they needed to make to be able to comply with the policy that would not allow them to smoke during the hours that they work."

Hospital officials are aiming to reduce patients' and employees' exposure to toxins that linger in fabrics from a recently burned cigarette, also known as third-hand smoke, Lauve said. Such toxins present a special danger for the developing brains of infants and small children.

Ideally, Cabrini policymakers would like to see all employees quit tobacco products for good, Lauve said. And the hospital will offer those wanting to quit tools, support and resources available to help them kick the habit.