Memphis Area Hospitals to Ban Tobacco Use

MEMPHIS, TN - Hospital administrators in Memphis and Shelby County are adopting a no-tobacco policy this year.

At yesterday's announcement, administrators said hospitals across the county will impose the ban by November 15.  It will prohibit smoking outside on the campuses of the hospitals.

It will apply not only to cigarette smoking, but also to pipes and cigars as well as smokeless tobacco use.

The hospitals chose November 15 because it coincides with the American Cancer Society's Great American Smoke Out.

Only the Memphis VA Medical Center hasn't joined the program.  A VA spokeswoman says federal law requires veterans' hospitals to provide smoking shelters.

On the other side, Baptist Memorial Healthcare plans to implement the ban throughout its 14 hospitals in West Tennessee and Mississippi.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)