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Pittsburgh Mercy Health System will snuff out tobacco use

| Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, 11:26 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Mercy Health System is joining UPMC and the Allegheny Health Network in toughening anti-smoking rules for workers, patients and other visitors.

Starting Feb. 1, the Oakland-based nonprofit will ban all smoking and other tobacco use inside and outside its facilities, it announced Monday. PMHS workers won't be allowed to use tobacco at any point during their shifts.

“We care about the health and well-being of our employees, persons we serve, and the community,” CEO Sister Susan Welsh said in a statement. “These policies will help reduce public exposure to harmful toxins that are associated with tobacco use.”

PMHS employs about 1,700 people who provide health and social services at more than 60 locations. It will offer free health coaching and other support to workers trying to give up tobacco.

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