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Consistent with Connecticut law, use of tobacco and similar items — including electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products — is not permitted in/on YNHHS-owned, leased or maintained properties, including buildings, parking areas and grounds. All sidewalks contiguous to YNHHS-owned or leased properties and maintained by the health system are also included.

This policy applies to employees, patients, volunteers, visitors, physicians, residents, students, vendors and others at all YNHHS entities. Earlier this year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation specifically prohibiting use of "electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products" in a variety of venues, including state buildings, restaurants and healthcare institutions. While YNHHS' Tobacco Free Environment policy already prohibited use of those devices and products in/on system properties, the legislation requires specific wording on signage. YNHHS will be updating internal and external "tobacco-free" signage over the next several months, along with references in printed and electronic documents.

The intent is to eliminate potential for exposure to second- and third-hand smoke or similar vapors and create a healthy environment inside and outside facilities. As a healthcare organization, it is important that YNHHS educate and model healthy behaviors for the community. A tobacco-free environment is also evidence of our commitment to create and sustain a healthier community.

The policy applies to all:

  • Tobacco products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, herbal tobacco products and chewing tobacco.
  • Electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products, including but not limited to electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers. 

YNHHS supports and encourages employees to quit smoking or using tobacco and provides resources and/or programs to help. Contact the Quit 4 Life program (866-784-8454) or the HRConnect benefits service center or 844-543-21HR) for tobacco/vapor product cessation resources. Individuals covered by this policy who are not employees, such as volunteers and non-employed physicians, can contact the Connecticut Quitline: 800-QUITNOW.