Employees, vendors, patients, visitors and any other guests will no longer be allowed to smoke or use any tobacco products. The move is consistent with steps taken by health care organizations throughout the country to underline the health risks associated with smoking, the leading cause of preventable illness and death.

To aid employees in the battle to quit smoking, Hallmark Health offered an eight-week smoking cessation program at both Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital to those that were interested. This program was offered free of charge to all Hallmark Health employees.

Hallmark Health has also hosted a series of informational sessions to help staff prepare for the launch of the tobacco-free initiative. Signs, posters and other written material were posted at different sites throughout the system to remind the public, and employees that Hallmark Health has gone tobacco.

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and Hallmark Health wants to do its part to help encourage people to make healthier choices,” said Michael V. Sack, president and CEO of Hallmark Health System. “We hope that through this endeavor we will raise awareness and help curb smoking in the communities we serve.”

For more information about Hallmark Health, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org.

Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose, Hallmark Health Cancer Center, Stoneham, The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham, Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading, Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, Malden, Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford, and Ell Pond Medical Associates. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology.

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