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Smoke-Free Policy to Take Effect at Medical Center

Smoke-free Logo


July 12, 2011 – Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is becoming a smoke-free campus.

Earlier this month the Medical Center officially adopted the new policy, which builds on the university’s policy that prohibits smoking within 25 feet of entries, outdoor air intakes and windows of all university indoor locations.

The medical center’s smoke-free policy will expand that policy to include no smoking within 25 feet of on- or off-campus GUMC-owned or leased indoor locations, grounds or vehicles.


Essential Environment

“If we are truly committed to cura personalis (care of the whole person) – be it student, patient, faculty or staff – then adopting a smoke-free environment is essential,” says Howard Federoff, GUMC’s executive vice president for health sciences.

The policy will apply to all GUMC students, faculty, staff and visitors, and other members of the University community on the medical center campus.

Public, Implementation Phases

The implementation of the policy will take place in two phases – a public awareness phase that started July 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2011, and an implementation phase that begins Jan. 1, 2012.

During the public awareness phase, the GUMC administration will work with a number of internal and external partners to provide its community with access to smoking cessation education and resources. Smoke-free signs will also be posted on the GUMC campus during this phase.

Workplace Well-Being

“The intention is to promote greater well-being in the workplace and beyond. So when it’s appropriate we’ll be giving out gentle reminders and directing people to the resources that are available,” says Deborah Bassard, the GUMC’s human resources manager who will oversee the implementation of the policy for faculty and staff.

“Employees should refer to the GUMC website for the full policy and guidelines,” she says.

Wellness Perspective

Georgetown University Hospital adopted a smoke-free environment in 2009. 

“GUMC’s new policy is in alignment with its key clinical partner on this important health policy,” Federoff adds.

“From a wellness perspective, and from a community perspective, it’s absolutely the right thing to do,” says Charles DeSantis, who as Georgetown’s associate vice president and chief benefits officer started the university’s wellness program. “I believe the rest of the university will take note and learn from the process that the Medical Center has undertaken. I look forward to a smoke-free future.”

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