Tobacco-free champions honored from tri-counties

"Unfortunately, the cigarette tax increase will still fall far short of the billions needed each year just for the medical treatment of cigarette-caused disease," he added. "New York would have to be taxed $10 for every pack of cigarettes sold in New York to cover the cost of cigarette-caused medical expenses."

Michael Hildebran, director of marketing and public relations at CVPH Medical Center, also spoke during the ceremony, as CVPH received a Community Champions award in 2008 for being one of 89 hospitals in the state to go tobacco-free.

"We need to set an example and it's something that I think we have done a pretty good job of," Hildebran said. "Smoke was one of our biggest complaints from our patients and our visitors ... They would walk through, in essence, a veil of tobacco. And, these were people that were already compromised."

"We're very pleased that we made the step and we encourage those of you that perhaps have not, to do so," he added.

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