BANGOR — Each year, the Breathe Easy Maine initiative honors hospitals across the state who work hard to promote a tobacco and smoke-free environment, thereby reducing people’s exposure to secondhand smoke. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is proud to announce that our facilities are 100 percent smoke and tobacco-free for the health and safety of our patients, employees, visitors, and the entire community. We’re pleased to be recognized this year at the Platinum Level for the 2020 Tobacco-Free Hospital Gold Star Standards of Excellence – the highest level possible.

Hospitals can achieve the Gold Star Standards of Excellence by adopting policies with comprehensive information and by implementing procedures that support tobacco-free lifestyles. Award levels are based on best practice criteria such as implementing smoke and tobacco-free campus policies, offering annual screenings for tobacco use, and providing referrals and education for tobacco cessation.

“Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of lung cancer, and Maine’s lung cancer rates are among the highest in the nation,” says John Klemperer, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and director, Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program. “Our commitment to helping Mainers achieve their best possible health shows through in the work we do with Breathe Easy Maine, our Lung Cancer Screening Program, and our partnerships with other hospitals that make it easier for people to receive low dose CT scans closer to home.”

Awards are presented each November during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. To learn more about Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit