62,000 UPMC employees have ‘work day’ smoking ban

Smoking ban at UPMC
The outside of a UPMC hospital

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Some 62,000 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center employees can no longer take smoking breaks or otherwise use tobacco during the work day.

UPMC previously made its hospitals and campuses smoke-free in 2007, though workers could leave the grounds and buildings to smoke.

But starting Tuesday, employees, doctors, students and volunteers can no longer take smoke breaks.

The hospital network has offered a free smoking cessation program to its employees since announcing the policy a year ago. UPMC still hires smokers, but they must either quit or refrain from tobacco use during their shifts.

UPMC says slightly more than 10 percent of its employees reported using tobacco in a recent survey. Roughly 280 workers had signed up for the cessation program through Jan. 31.

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