Smoke Free in 2009 
Ron Yukelson 
Monday, 06 October 2008 
    Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County’s largest hospital, announced last week its intention to be smoke free beginning January 1, 2009. This means the use of all tobacco products will be banned anywhere on hospital owned property, including buildings, parking lots and all other areas on the respective hospitals’ campuses.
    “As Sierra Vista continues to take a leadership position in the health of our communities, we feel this is our best course of action to begin to no longer enable unhealthful lifestyle practices,” said Candy Markwith, Sierra Vista’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe it is our obligation to lead by example and promote an environment of healing and well-being.” 
    The Medical Executive Committee and the Governing Board at Sierra Vista endorsed the action and will work with hospital Administration to help implement policies and procedures to embrace a tobacco free environment. 

    Sierra Vista will provide smoking cessation education and alternative products for those employees who are interested. Employees who smoke will be eligible to receive nicotine replacement therapy free of charge for an initial period of time. The hospital will also provide smoking cessation classes to the public. 

    In addition to smoking and tobacco products, through a partnership with Kennedy Club Fitness, Sierra Vista is also offering its employees nutrition, exercise and weight management programs.