Ban on tobacco begins today at local hospitals, clinics

Starting today, Capital Medical Center, Providence St. Peter Hospital and Providence clinics will ban smoking and chewing tobacco.

The no-tobacco policy will apply to the parking lots and outside areas. Employees, patients and visitors no longer will be allowed to go outdoors to smoke or use tobacco products, according to the hospitals' officials.

Nicotine replacement options, such as medicated patches or nicotine gum, are not banned under the proposal. The hospitals announced the new policies jointly in March.