Health Dept.: No tobacco on site

Published 10:57 pm Friday, February 24, 2012

Beginning March 1, the Pike County Health Department will be a tobacco free facility.

Employees will no longer be able to use any kind of tobacco product, including electric cigarettes, outside of the building, on the sidewalk, or in a personal vehicle that is parked on the property.

Michelle Garrett, the Area 10 Tobacco Prevention and Control Coordinator, said that all county health departments throughout the state are being urged to become tobacco free campuses.

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“Our mission is to promote healthy lifestyles and prevention from disease,” Garrett said.

“We are trying to set that example by our own campuses being tobacco free.”

Garrett said that an employee committee of smokers and non-smokers was created to transition into the new policy.

The policy doesn’t require employees to quit smoking, but if they’d like to try, the Health Department provides a service that they, or any member of the public can use.

By calling 1-800-Quit-Now or logging on to, people can speak with masters-level therapists who specialize in helping tobacco users kick the habit.

“If our employees agree and are medically eligible, they will receive one month of free nicotine replacement packages,” Garrett explained.

Although the use of tobacco is not allowed on site, employees can move to adjacent property to smoke or use other products, if they have permission from property owners.

Garrett said there were eight health departments in the Southeast going tobacco free next week.