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IU Health policy: You can’t smoke at work or on off-campus break

Indianapolis Star, August 15, 2011

Grabbing a smoke while on a lunch break soon will be a thing of the past for Indiana University Health employees -- even if they are miles from the tobacco-free campus. Beginning Aug. 22, workers at IU Health's Downtown hospitals will not be allowed to smoke or use smokeless tobacco products during their work days. It is one of the most restrictive smoking policies in the nation. IU Health's campuses have been smoke-free since 2005. But with research pointing to the dangers of so-called third-hand smoke -- tobacco contaminants that remain on smokers' bodies -- the hospital system strengthened the policy. "We're not saying to people that you can't smoke. What we're saying to people is you can't bring these contaminants into the hospital," said Sheriee Ladd, IU Health's senior vice president of human resources. "This is a patient-care conversation. Not an employee conversation."