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IJERPH, Vol. 13, Pages 87: Electronic Cigarettes on Hospital Campuses

29 Dec 2015

Smoke and tobacco-free policies on hospital campuses have become more prevalent across the U.S. and Europe, de-normalizing smoking and reducing secondhand smoke exposure on hospital grounds. Concerns about the increasing use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and the impact of such use on smoke and tobacco-free policies have arisen, but to date, no systematic data describes e-cigarette policies on hospital campuses. The study surveyed all hospitals in North Carolina (n = 121) to assess what proportion of hospitals have developed e-cigarette policies, how policies have been implemented and communicated, and what motivators and barriers have influenced the development of e-cigarette regulations. Seventy-five hospitals (62%) completed the survey. Over 80% of hospitals reported the existence of a policy regulating the use of e-cigarettes on campus and roughly half of the hospitals without a current e-cigarette policy are likely to develop one within the next year. Most e-cigarette policies have been incorporated into existing tobacco-free policies with few reported barriers, though effective communication of e-cigarette policies is lacking. The majority of hospitals strongly agree that e-cigarette use on campus should be prohibited for staff, patients, and visitors. Widespread incorporation of e-cigarette policies into existing hospital smoke and tobacco-free campus policies is feasible but needs communication to staff, patients, and visitors.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health