Oneida County Hospitals Support New Smoking Cessation Regulation

Media Contact: 
Debra Altdoerffer
VP, Communications and Marketing
(315) 624-5716
Release Date: 
Oct 28, 2013

Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH), St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) and Rome Memorial Hospital (RMH) strongly support the new smoking cessation regulation that bans smoking on the grounds of general hospitals and residential healthcare facilities. Governor Cuomo recently signed this provision into law to take effect on Friday, November 1, 2013. Both Utica hospitals and their associated facilities and properties have been tobacco free since November 2006.  RMH became tobacco free in 2007.

“While Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center have been tobacco free for close to seven years, we feel this new law is an excellent reminder of the dangers tobacco use poses not only to those using the products but also to those around them,” said Scott H. Perra, FACHE, president/CEO of FSLH and Richard H. Ketcham, FACHE, president/CEO of SEMC. “This new law helps to promote a healing environment where people need it the most. We commend our governor and state legislature for recognizing the health benefits of this regulation and for making it law.”

Tobacco use affects not only a person’s health, but it can also affect the ability to recover after an illness or surgery. Smoking slows wound healing, increases risk of wound infection and increases bone healing time. The hospitals offer Tri-County Quits: Tobacco Cessation Program for individuals looking to stop using tobacco products. For more information on the program or to join a tobacco cessation class, call (315) 624-5639 or visit