UF Health is tobacco-free. As a responsible health care organization, we’re committed to providing high-quality medical care, preventing disease and supporting community health. It’s our role to ensure a safe, clean and healthy environment for everyone who seeks care, works or studies at UF Health.
Our care teams support patients who wish to quit tobacco; and our HR and Occupational Health teams offer smoking-cessation and tobacco-free resource for faculty and staff.
However, people addicted to nicotine, especially those feeling stressed, are driven to find places to smoke or use other forms of tobacco. It’s a challenge on our Archer Road health campus, for example, especially near the E.R.s and main entrances. The resulting litter also affects customers and colleagues.
“Tobacco use and secondhand smoke pose serious health risks. We want to help people quit and get well. We provide classes, medications and resources to help,” said Ed Jimenez, UF Health Shands CEO.
“Meanwhile, there’s a major disconnect when our patients, visitors and staff have to pass by smokers outside our hospitals and buildings or see cigarette trash. It sends the wrong message for an organization dedicated to health and wellness. Please help people who wish to quit tobacco find the support they need. And please help us enforce our tobacco-free policies so that we deliver a health-promoting and welcoming place for everyone at UF Health.”
Official tobacco-free policies and work rules apply. Here’s a quick overview:
- Formal policies prohibit the use of tobacco products anywhere at UF Health. Tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, vapes and chewing tobacco.
- Tobacco use is not allowed on UF and UF Health Shands-owned or -operated campuses and properties. This includes UF Health buildings, patios, sidewalks, parking garages and lots, roadways, grassy areas and gardens.
- UF and UF Health Shands tobacco-free work rules apply to faculty, staff, residents, students and volunteers while on site.
- Policies also prohibit patients, visitors and vendors from using tobacco at UF Health.
Jimenez asks leaders and staff throughout the organization to revisit the tobacco-free guidelines and resources and help reinforce policies among colleagues. On the Bridge portal, hover over the “Policies & Procedures” tab and you’ll always find the “Tobacco and Contraband Free” link. (Or go directly to Bridge.UFHealth.org/tobacco-contraband-free for details.)
“We appreciate your renewed attention to support the elimination of tobacco use on our health care campus,” said C. Parker Gibbs, M.D., UF Health Shands chief medical officer. “Please go online to see the resources available. We can all take a role to improve our patients’ experience and the experience of everyone in the UF Health family.”