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NYCDOH Awards Montefiore Medical Center with Bronze Star Status in NYC Tobacco-Free Hospitals Campaign

Montefiore is One of First Hospitals in New York City to Receive Recognition for Implementing Tobacco-Free Best Practices

New York City, NY (05/29/2012) -- Montefiore Medical Center has been recognized for its achievements in tobacco control by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOH), and is the first hospital in the Bronx and only the second in New York City to be awarded a Bronze Star for its efforts.

As one of the first hospitals to join the NYCDOH’s Tobacco-Free Hospitals Campaign, Montefiore has helped set the pace for other city hospitals to follow by enhancing both its tobacco-free policies and its employee cessation programs.

“Montefiore is very proud to receive this recognition of our campus-wide tobacco cessation efforts,” said Steven M. Safyer, MD, President and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center. “We are committed to supporting our patients, visitors and neighbors in the community in their efforts to become tobacco free and to promoting a healthy environment for all."

As the largest healthcare provider and employer in the Bronx, Montefiore declared a new smoke free-campus policy in March of 2011 that applies to all of its employees, patients, and visitors, and extends no-smoking zones beyond established 25-foot perimeters to include all Montefiore locations in the Bronx and Westchester. Montefiore offers support to associates and patients who want to quit using tobacco, including a Smoking Cessation Lifestyle Improvement Program offered through the medical center’s To Your Health wellness initiative, and no-cost nicotine replacement starter kits (nicotine gum and nicotine patch) and counseling offered through its Occupational Health Service. All Montefiore primary care physicians are trained to provide initial smoking cessation education and can prescribe smoking cessation nicotine replacement therapy for their patients.

In addition to the smoke-free campus policy, Montefiore’s Office of Community Health and Wellness offers the medical center’s associates and community year-round nutrition and fitness programs and other initiatives, many offered in alignment with the NYCDOH.

“Smoking is still the leading cause of premature, preventable deaths in New York City. While the adult smoking rate is at an all-time low of 14 percent, there are still an estimated 850,000 New Yorkers who smoke. We commend Montefiore Medical Center’s effort to help New Yorkers quit smoking by creating a tobacco-free campus for staff, patients and visitors, and providing employees with the best possible tobacco-cessation services,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, MD, MPH.

The NYCDOH’s Tobacco-Free Hospitals Campaign assists hospitals across New York City to create tobacco-free campuses and comprehensive tobacco cessation programs for their employees and patients. The department is working in collaboration with NC Prevention Partners on this project, which is made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.