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Gillette Stadium to go smoke free

Posted Jul 9, 2012

Citing public health concerns and fan feedback, outdoor NFL and MLS venue will eliminate designated smoking areas. In participation with Tufts Health Plan, smoking cessation information will be available to fans at the stadium.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Gillette Stadium, with assistance from Tufts Health Plan, announced today that beginning with the New England Revolution game on July 14 the venue will become a fully smoke-free facility. All areas inside the stadium gates will be designated as non-smoking, a policy that will remain in place for all ticketed events moving forward, including NFL games, MLS and international soccer matches, UMass football games, concerts, functions and events.

Since its opening in 2002, smoking had been allowed in designated areas at the periphery of the open-air stadium. Gillette Stadium will join the majority of NFL venues and many MLS venues by going completely smoke-free.

"The feedback we've received from our customers suggests that the majority now prefer a fully non-smoking environment," said James Nolan, Gillette Stadium senior vice president of administration, operations and finance. "The decision is made much easier by considering the overwhelming evidence of the negative health effects of smoking, especially in light of Gillette Stadium's goal - as a sports-centric business - of promoting health and wellness."

In partnership with Tufts Health Plan, new signage will be erected throughout the stadium, smoking cessation literature will be available in the stadium's Guest Services Booths and public service announcements will be made during events.

"Supporting people in their quest to be healthy is a critical component of what we do," said James Roosevelt Jr., president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan.  "Partnering with Gillette Stadium as they plan to become smoke-free is something we fully embrace and are excited to participate in."

In recent years, Gillette Stadium's event business has grown from primarily professional football and soccer to include many collegiate and high school sports events. Data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that in the 10 years since Gillette Stadium opened cigarette smoking among adults has continued a downward trend that began in 1965.

Stadium officials are encouraging Patriots fans, Revolution fans and concert goers who have become accustomed to using the designated smoking areas to plan accordingly for the change.

ABOUT GILLETTE STADIUM
Gillette Stadium, located in Foxborough, Mass., is the premier sports and entertainment venue in New England. The 68,756-seat stadium is the full-time home of the NFL's New England Patriots, which have sold-out the stadium for every home game since it opened in 2002. Gillette Stadium is also the home field of the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer and, beginning in 2012, University of Massachusetts football. The stadium hosts a variety of other marquee sports events, including international soccer matches, NCAA championships and high school football super bowls, and Billboard magazine recently ranked Gillette Stadium among the top 10 grossing concert venues in the world. For more information, visit www.gillettestadium.com or follow @GilletteStadium on Twitter.

ABOUT TUFTS HEALTH PLAN
Tufts Health Plan is a nonprofit organization nationally recognized for its commitment to providing innovative, high-quality health care coverage. The plan offers members and employers an array of health management programs, which support evidence-based approaches to health and wellness. Tufts Health Plan's HMO and POS are ranked second in the nation, and its Medicare Advantage HMO program ranks among the nation's top 10 Medicare Advantage plans in the nation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)*.  Network Health, acquired by Tufts Health Plan in 2011, earned NCQA "Excellent" Health Plan Accreditation, NCQA's highest accreditation rating, for its Network Health Together plan. Since 2010, it has been ranked a top-10 Medicaid health plan nationally, according to NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings.

*For commercial/private plans, NCQA's Private Health Insurance Plan Rankings, 2011-2012. NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.