Tawam Hospital – 100% Smoke Free Zone
Tawam Hospital, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine, announced today the adoption and enforcement of the UAE’s Federal National Tobacco Law on total ban of smoking in public areas; Tawam Hospital will become a 100% smoke free zone. This announcement comes in support of the international World No Tobacco Day on May 31st, 2010.
The Federal National Tobacco Law prohibits smoking in all public areas or property without allowing designated smoking areas indoors or outdoors. Although the law has not been fully enforced yet, government owned buildings, such as, schools, universities, hospitals, theatres, and fitness centers will have to abide by the full smoking ban in the very near future.
The first step into the full smoking ban initiative by Tawam Hospital is to replace all the ‘No Smoking’ signs available on hospital property by a sign clarifying that smoking is illegal by law. The second step is to remove all designated smoking areas throughout the hospital campus, which includes Tawam Dental Centre, Al Jahli and Al Neima Primary Care Clinics, Al Wagan Hospital, and the Regional Blood Center.
“Our interpretation of the law and policy requirements dictates advancement from “No Smoking” buildings, which is our present practice, to “No Smoking” Campuses”, says Dr. Steve Matarelli, Chief Operating Officer of Tawam Hospital.
“The ill effects of tobacco smoking are well known and a threat to public health, even for non-smokers such as family members and the general non-smoking public. Our announcement of this transition today is in keeping with sound medical evidence and public health initiatives of the UAE government.”
The new ban on smoking is effective immediately at Tawam Hospital, but full enforcement will be in conjunction with fasting periods during the holy month of Ramadan.
“We understand that smoking is a personal matter and this change in policy will affect patients, families, and staff alike. However, in order to comply with pending regulations at the UAE federal level, we must begin our process changes now through education, awareness, and enforcement,” Dr. Matarelli concluded.
Tawam Hospital is part of the SEHA HealthSystem and is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA) which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The hospital is managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International.