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UPMC policy on tobacco use takes effect Tuesday

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Monday, June 30, 2014, 7:21 p.m.

Starting Tuesday, all UPMC workers and volunteers will be barred from using tobacco products at any point during their shifts, including break times.

UPMC officials announced plans for the new rule a year ago. Since then, they have seen enrollment in the company's smoking-cessation program roughly double as workers brace for the change.

Nearly 280 workers signed up for the program from July 1, 2013, through Jan. 31, said Dr. Tim Cline, senior director for clinical training and development at UPMC Health Plan.

“It's pretty safe to attribute that to the new policy,” Cline said.

Half of workers who finish the program remain tobacco-free, according to UPMC. The health system counts more than 62,000 workers. Just more than one in 10 surveyed by UPMC reported tobacco use.

The health system decided in 2007 to make all its campuses smoke-free.

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