Non-smoking hospital campuses a triumph

To the editor: Non-tobacco use on hospital grounds at our regional hospitals is a true triumph in supporting healthy lifestyles for the citizens of the North Country. As an ex-smoker, I understand the challenges to quit a habit that addictive as well as costly both financially and personally. I did not become someone who preaches to others to quit the habit but must admit that while I was a die hard smoker, I cannot tell everyone how much better I feel, how much better food tastes, and how much better my clothes, house, and breath smells. The concerted efforts of administrators, the medical staff, the community and most of all the employees is one step in the right direction to making tobacco use a distant memory. As a Health Educator in Essex County I see the challenges faced, the devastating results from years of tobacco use and the blatant point of purchasing advertising that our community is faced with daily. Did you ever notice that the tobacco advertising is at the eye level of youth? Tobacco companies know they will always have users because they manipulate nicotine levels to get our youth hooked on a variety of tobacco products. Being aware of these tricks is also needed as we attempt to remove these ads that are known to encourage youth to use tobacco. I cannot stress enough how proud I am of our regional health care facilities for stepping up to the plate and making their campuses non-smoking and promoting healthy lifestyles. Thank you. Catherine LaRock-McMahon

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