St. Francis to ban smoking on campus

Usually, smokers at St. Francis Hospital can light up outside of the building. But after Friday, they will have to leave the premises to take a puff.

The Columbus hospital, known for its cardiac services, will implement a new policy Friday that bans smoking on its entire campus. It will also apply to all its other properties — including the Rosemont Health Center, a women's health care facility, and Franciscan Woods, an assisted living community.

Under current policy, smoking is allowed 50 feet away from St. Francis' entrances. There are also designated smoking areas.

St. Francis says they are doing this for the health and safety of those who visit any of its campuses.

"Being the heart hospital of this area was really one of the primary drivers," said Debbie Saylor, St. Francis senior vice president of patient care services. "If an organization really wants to live up to its commitment of a healthy lifestyle, there's no question we need to be smoke-free."

St. Francis is the second hospital in the area to implement policy for a smoke-free campus. The Medical Center did so in 1990. Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital, Hughston Orthopedic Hospital and Doctors Hospital are all smoke-free facilities but allow smokers to light up in designated areas outside.

Read more of this story in Wednesday's Ledger-Enquirer.