Highland Rivers Health smoking ban

Highland Rivers Health officially banned smoking on their campus at the beginning of the month, and provided snacks for those who are having trouble with thier cravings. 

Sean Williams/SJ

Highlands Rivers - one of the largest Georgia behavioral healthcare providers - recently put in place a new rule: No smoking or tobacco use at any Highlands location.

This rule came into effect on July 1 and the clinic has been adamant about enforcing it since.

"No smoking" signs can be found in parking lots and doors on nearly every Rivers location, and even electronic cigarettes are forbidden.

Highlands Rivers isn't leaving their smokers to suffer, and have made efforts to ensure clients have a healthy, safe adaption to the new rules.

The first day of the ban on July 10 was a prime example of help for Highlands clients who visited the Cedartown location.

Staff set out fresh fruit, stress balls, and hard candy for any client or care receiver who was itching for a smoke. The health clinic also teamed up with the Northwest Georgia Cancer Coalition who supplied pamphlets of information and visual aids highlighting the risks of smoking.

Recovering smokers had the opportunity to beat their urges while reading tips on how to stop smoking.

Highlands was wise to put out hard candies because mints, Jolly Ranchers, and gum keep smoker's mouth busy and fresh enough to make smokers lose interest in cigarettes.

The mint sensation of peppermint means smokers don't have to pursue oral stimulation provided by cigarettes, and stress balls calm the nerves in place of smoking.

Tobacco users will be more inclined to read the pamphlets presented to them if they aren't having withdrawals.

The Georgia-born clinic serves 12 different counties inside of Northwest Georgia. The clinic operates outpatient clinics, residential treatment facilities, crisis stabilization units, and programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Banning smoking is a strong move for the clinic that is adamant about the health of its clients.