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Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to become a tobacco-free zone

by jmaloni
Thu, May 31st 2012 09:00 am

Leaders cite healthier outcomes, sustainable practices for world-class medical campus

Press release

On Thursday, World No Tobacco Day, officials at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus announced their intention to be entirely tobacco-free by July 4. Many individual BNMC member institutions are already tobacco-free, including Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, and the University at Buffalo; this action will create a tobacco-free zone across the entire 120-acre campus.

The BNMC is a geographic area spanning from Goodell Street to North Street and east-west from Michigan to Main Street in Buffalo. This initiative will impact more than one million annual patients and visitors and nearly 12,000 employees and students.

"The BNMC board of directors voted unanimously to create a tobacco-free campus," said Matthew K. Enstice, president and CEO of Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. "This effort reinforces our commitment to building healthy communities and supports our sustainable campus initiatives that improve the quality of life for people on and around the medical campus."

The BNMC worked closely with the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition to create a tobacco-free plan, including a baseline survey of employees on their receptiveness for creating a tobacco-free campus. There was overwhelming support for this initiative, with many employees citing their commitment to work at the medical and research institutions as reasons for creating a healthier environment. Any and all tobacco products that permeate the air-space with harmful fumes will be prohibited on the 120-acre medical campus. The tobacco-free campus-wide adoption applies to all BNMC employees, visitors, patients, vendors, contractors, and will not be tolerated on any BNMC-owned properties.

"We congratulate the BNMC leadership for making the campus a tobacco-free zone. Secondhand smoke and tobacco litter are dangerous and counter to their commitment to a healthy community. By building on the tobacco-free policies of BNMC partners, we look forward to BNMC becoming a healthier, greener campus," said Anthony Billoni, director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition.

The BNMC is dedicated to becoming a good neighbor as it promotes healthy lifestyles for all campus community members. In the coming months, the BNMC is committed to identifying ways that the tobacco-free policy can be enforced and promoted so surrounding neighborhoods and streets too can be protected from the litter and health impacts of secondhand tobacco use.

Smoking cessation programs are in place to help those who choose to quit smoking, and counseling is available for those who would like to cease their intake of any tobacco product. Resources also will be provided by the New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program and the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition.

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is a consortium of the region's premier health care, life sciences research, and medical education institutions, all located on 120 acres in downtown Buffalo. The BNMC is dedicated to the cultivation of a world-class medical campus for clinical care, research, education and entrepreneurship. There are nine regionally significant institutions on the BNMC and more than 40 public and private companies. BNMC member institutions are the University at Buffalo, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, Olmsted Center for Sight, Unyts, and the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care.

BNMC, located at 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo. For more information, call 716-854-BNMC or visit www.bnmc.org.

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