LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Smoking will soon be banned at all of The Healing Place facilities.

“Nicotine, tobacco is an addiction,” said The Healing Place Director of Program Services Heather Gibson.

Of the 600 men and women receiving addiction treatment from The Healing Place, Gibson said at least 80 percent are also addicted to smoking.

“We are an addiction, recovery facility,” Gibson said.

While the majority of clients struggle with a heroin addiction, Gibson explained the center cannot ignore cigarettes any more.

“We know that half-a-million people die from tobacco related diseases every year,” she said.  

So in two months lighting up and taking a drag will no longer be allowed at any facility belonging to The Healing Place.

Gibson said the recovery community has allowed smoking for a long time because the thinking is that you can't quit everything at once. But now that thinking is being challenged.

“We don't expect people to keep smoking crack, but stop using heroin. You know it just doesn't make sense because nicotine is a drug of reward and if it wasn't a problem then everybody would just stop smoking,” Gibson said.

However, that rule will only apply to those people in recovery and not detox.

“We don't want any barriers from people entering The Healing Place and detox is the first point of entry,” Gibson said.

Once in recovery men and women will be able to take smoking cessation classes and receive nicotine patches and gum in place of cigarettes.

“It may not be a popular decision, but it's the best decision for our clients' health and their futures,” Gibson said.

The smoking ban will start June 16th at all Healing Place locations including a new recovery center for men, which opens April 21, 2016.

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