The whole world has started understanding the value of non-smoking that the majority of us believe. However, according to Dr. Fred Jacobs - the Former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services - smoking has leveled off, but did not decrease as far as the schools are concerned. When the law passed to make restaurants smoke free, there were an enormous amount of people who objected. However, gradually the people understood the value of a non-smoking area.
It was not easy for EOGH President Kevin Slavin to convince everyone. Obviously for those who smoke, it will be very difficult, at least in the beginning. However, thanks to the good natured and pro-employee president, Slavin took a little under a year to make the East Orange General Hospital Campus smoke free. East Orange General Hospital is the 70th hospital to be smoke free.
Leonard Murray II, Board Chair of East Orange General Hospital, said that Mr. Slavin brought this suggestion a year ago, and it took a year to work out all the details and finally have the EOGH campus smoke free.
Dr. Fred Jacobs said “Tobacco use makes six million pre-mature deaths in the world. I have worked 18 years at East Orange General Hospital as pulmonologist. I was the only pulmonologist around here and I used to get calls at 2, 3, 4 a.m. The state used to spend $30 million, and they cut down to $10 million. With our effort, they raise it to $11 million dollars, but Christie cut it to zero dollars. If 300 people get killed in a jet plane every day, no one will let it go for more than couple of days. There are over 300 persons dying pre-maturely every day, but no one wants to do anything.
According to the reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should spend $119.8 million per year. New York State spends $45 million. They have cut it to $40 million, but with the protests they raised it to $45 million.
Slavin said, “All the buildings including the residential building are smoke free now… Going entirely tobacco free represents yet another aspect of our mission as a healthcare provider.”
We all should be proud of East Orange General Hospital’s effort to create a smoke free campus.