Manatee hospitals going tobacco free on Tuesday

Blake Medical Center, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Manatee Memorial Hospital announced today that on Tuesday, Sept. 1, tobacco use will no longer be permitted on their campuses.

Following the example of the hospitals and health departments in Sarasota, DeSoto and Charlotte counties — which became tobacco free in 2007 — and other hospitals across the nation, the three hospitals in Manatee County have decided to become tobacco free citing that the health risks of tobacco use conflict with their objective of providing a safe and healthy environment for patients, employees, physicians, and visitors, according to a news release issued by Manatee Memorial Hospital.

"Establishment of this policy recognizes the health, safety and comfort benefits of tobacco-free air and the special responsibility that hospitals have in maintaining, and promoting a healthy and safe environment," the release states.