Arkansas Children’s Hospital Becomes a Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus

Publication Date: 4/21/2005

On April 22, 2005, Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) will become a tobacco and smoke-free campus. Believing that any use of tobacco is harmful to children, ACH joins a growing number of organizations that have eliminated tobacco and smoking on their campuses. Through programs designed to help adhere to the hospital's commitment to become tobacco and smoke-free, ACH will make every effort to support patients, families and staff with the implementation of this new policy.

This decision was made in support of ACH's mission to enhance, sustain and restore the health and development of children and to create and maintain a healthy environment for employees, physicians, families and visitors. "It's the right thing to do for our kids. We are a children's hospital and we want to demonstrate healthy lifestyles and support the many patients, families, and staff who are sensitive to second-hand smoke. We want to make this a properly healthy place for kids who come here," stated Jonathan Bates, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of ACH.

Many parents of patients at ACH are also very happy about the decision to become a smoke-free campus. "We have been so blessed to have ACH to take care of our medically fragile 18-year-old son. For years, ACH has been the leader in the state on child health issues. From advocacy, medical policy and health legislation, to research, internationally renowned health care professionals and emerging medical technology, ACH shines as the place we want our children to be if they are sick. It is wonderful to hear that ACH will once again take the lead in children's health and promote a smoke-free facility. ACH will set an example that smoke-free is the best for the children of Arkansas. Our family does not smoke and now my children will not have to observe people at ACH smoking and will only see ACH as a place of care, love and hope," says Jennifer Cavnor, parent of an ACH patient.

On November 18, 2004, ACH became tobacco and smoke-free for its employees. This was a step towards becoming an entirely tobacco and smoke-free campus. Recently, the 85th General Assembly passed Act 134 which prohibits the smoking of tobacco in and on the grounds of all medical facilities. This act will become effective on October 1, 2005.