Hospital Strategy Plan

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Hospital Strategy Plan

The Tobacco Institute's "Hospital Strategy Plan" sought to undermine a planned campaign by the American Hospital Association (AHA) to advertise the health hazards of smoking and the newly-instituted requirement that hospitals ban smoking from their campuses.

Beginning in 1992, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) required American hospitals to ban smoking from their campuses in order to become accredited. JCAHO accreditation is necessary for hospitals to be eligible for reimbursements from the federal health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, as well as from many insurance companies. The AHA planned to use the occasion of the new requirement to launch a campaign to educate people about the dangers of tobacco use.

The Tobacco Institute took exception to AHA's planned campaign, saying it would "further add to the promotion and legitimization of smoking bans."

To undermine the campaign, the Institute planned a strategy to intimidate the AHA out of implementing its educational program. The first tactic was to deflect public attention away from smoking and onto "the broader issue of IAQ Indoor Air Quality." Ironically, to do this, the industry planned to draw attention to "the serious IAQ situation in hospitals, which contributes to worker health problems..."

Other TI tactics included "Point[ing] out how the problem of cross-infections brought on by poor [indoor air quality] adds to hospital costs, which are already out of control," and to "Explore the liability of hospitals whose poor [indoor air quality] contributes to the high rates of cross-infection." To carry out this latter strategy, the industry planned to "encourage health-care research and write papers on liability problems hospitals face in this area, [and] distribute these papers to... appropriate patients'-rights groups."

The document shows the tobacco industry planned to attack the heath-care industry over promotion of smoking restrictions in hospitals by finding subtle ways to encourage litigation against hospitals in other areas.

Date 19910000
Bates TI06160233/0235
Collection Tobacco Institute
Pages 3

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