Frequently Asked Questions Why is the University of Rochester Medical Center a smoke free campus? The mission of the University of Rochester Medical Center is to improve the health of the communities we serve. By committing to a smoke-free environment, we are furthering this mission, and in doing so, we are setting an example of wellness and prevention that is important to the health of our patients, staff, and community. Why was smoking chosen instead of other health risks? Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Here are a few other facts: More than 440,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases. This is more than all alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car crash, fire, and AIDS deaths combined. In New York State, about 25,500 adults die annually from smoking. Here in Monroe County, three people die each day from smoking-related diseases. Smoking is a factor in heart disease, cancer, stroke, and lung disease. Smoking costs the U.S. nearly $150 billion each year in health care and other expenses. Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death behind active smoking and alcohol abuse. Patients who smoke before surgery have a higher rate of infection than nonsmokers. Smoking slows healing after surgery. Smokers' broken bones take longer to heal than nonsmokers' bones. By being an entirely smoke free campus, we've addressed the No. 1 health risk today. In addition, many patients are unaware of how smoking affects their heath and their ability to recover from illness and surgery. We hope this policy will educate and remind our faculty, staff, patients, and the community about the health risks linked with smoking. How does this new policy differ from the previous policy? Our previous No Smoking policy prohibited smoking inside all URMC facilities, but allowed patients, visitors, and staff to smoke in designated areas outside the buildings. Our Smoke Free policy prohibits smoking within the perimeter, with the exception of three smoking outposts. One area, which already exists, is located at Middle Lot Drive (between the Emergency Department and the School of Medicine entrance). The second is a newly created, sheltered location adjacent to the north side of the ramp garage (facing Elmwood Avenue). The third is located in Lot 3, behind the Saunders Research Building. In addition, smoking or other tobacco use outside the perimeter in residential neighborhoods, including the Goler House campus, continues to be prohibited. Please see the perimeter map for more details. Does this policy apply to all URMC outpatient facilities? The smoke-free campus policy is in effect at those off-site facilities where URMC is the sole tenant. If a URMC facility is smoke-free, signs will be posted to let you know. Where can I smoke? You may smoke outside the established non-smoking perimeter, as well as three smoking outposts. One area, which already exists, is located at Middle Lot Drive (between the Emergency Department and the School of Medicine entrance). The second is a sheltered location adjacent to the north side of the ramp garage (facing Elmwood Avenue). The third is located in Lot 3, behind the Saunders Research Building. Please refer to the map. Is there anywhere patients can go to smoke? Patients are not allowed to smoke on Medical Center grounds. I am a smoker who will be a patient at Strong Memorial. What resources are available to me? Patients are not allowed to smoke on Medical Center grounds. You should consult your physician to discuss.