Good Samaritan shelters in Santa Maria and Lompoc are going tobacco-free. The new policy is being adopted at all 11 of its shelters in northern Santa Barbara county.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reports that Good Samaritan is the first multi-site behavorial health service agency in the county to implement this health policy.
“Tobacco use will now be treated like other substances that cause dependency,” said Nancy Gottlieb, Good Samaritan’s Clinical Director.
The tobacco ban includes all electronic cigarettes and electronic smoking devices. Employees will not be required to quit smoking, but they will not be allowed to use tobacco products at the facilities.
Good Samaritan also offers a complete tobacco cessation program for its clients and employees.
The new policy is one part of a comprehensive treatment approach. People with a substance addiction smoke two to four times as many cigarettes compared to the general population.
“People come to our agency to reclaim their lives,” said Sylvia Barnard, Good Samaritan’s Executive Director. Treating tobacco dependency is one way to do that.
If you need help to stop smoking, call the County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department and the 1-800 No Butts Helpline.