It is important to provide a healthy smoke free environment for the vulnerable members of our community such as children, babies and pregnant mothers, as well as people with respiratory problems. It’s also important to keep our facilities smoke free to support people who are trying to quit smoking, often because of a health scare.
In 2013, Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) decided to clear the air at its hospitals from environmental tobacco smoke. Central Coast Health Promotion Service has been involved in the monitoring and enforcement of the CCLHD smoke-free by-law since implementation.
How did we do it?
While Central Coast Health Promotion has an important role in achieving smoke free compliance, everyone has a role. It is only through strong partnerships and lasting commitment that we have been gradually seeing improvement. Public Health have partnered with us and Security in doing regular smoke free compliance rounds, and the Smoke Free Working Groups has brought together representatives from many different disciplines such as nursing, pharmacy, education and training etc. Thanks go out to all those disciplines, but especially to Security, who are so often at the coal face of tobacco compliance work.
After more than ten years of asking people not to smoke around hospitals, it’s not unreasonable that we have now introduced fines for blatant examples of smoking on hospital grounds. Equally we are being supportive by providing comprehensive signage, loud speaker advice, nicotine vending machines for visitors, and a range of different types of NRT for patients.
Continued implementation and enforcement of CCLHD smoke-free by-law occurs through:
- smoking counts are conducted quarterly for a two-hour period in high-profile areas of hospital grounds, to check compliance with the smoke-free by-law
- enforcement patrols on hospital grounds are used to regularly check compliance with the smoke-free by-law, and issue warnings and fines as appropriate
- provision of NRT gum through vending machines to support compliance with the smoke-free by-law. Vending machines are located at Gosford and Wyong Hospitals to help manage the nicotine dependence of visitors.
What did we achieve?
Since the implementation of the smoke-free by-law, four fines and countless warnings have been issued to smokers.
Smoking counts in high profile areas over a 2 hour period have shown smoking rates at less than 0.5%
- NRT vending machines – sales of NRT remain steady from the vending machines.
- We now have multiple types of NRT delivery available to patients who smoke on the ward.
Smoking cessation training was delivered to 195 clinicians in 2017 to ensure health professionals are appropriately trained in delivering smoking cessation support.
Look out for!
Results from research project examining the levels of aggression shown by smokers towards staff asking then not to smoke on hospital grounds.