St. Vincent Clay Hospital will be smoke-free beginning Jan. 1.
"The hospital is committed to the protection of healthy behaviors which prevent disease and illness," wrote spokesperson Andrea Baysinger in an e-mail to The Brazil Times. "Smoking has been determined to be a major cause of many diseases and illnesses, and research documents the health risks posed by passive smoke.
"For health promotion and disease prevention benefits, safety concerns and for the increased comfort of everyone within our facilities, we are committed to striving for a smoke-free environment."
The press release goes on to say, "St. Vincent Clay Hospital's mission is rooted in the loving ministry of Jesus as healer, we commit ourselves to serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Our Catholic health ministry is dedicated to spiritually centered, holistic care, which sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities. We are advocates for a compassionate and just society through our actions and our words."