THUNDER BAY – Healthbeat – Monday, September 30, 2013 marked an important milestone for the entire community of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), including patients and families across Northwestern Ontario.
“Today TBRHSC joins an ever-growing number of hospitals that recognize the positive role that providing a smoke-free environment can play in their communities and that implementing smoke-free grounds is an important part in promoting healthy choices and health in the community,” said Andrée Robichaud, TBRHSC President and CEO.
Although TBRHSC has had a smoke-free grounds policy in place since opening its doors in 2004, the policy was not consistently respected or enforced.
The new approach of TBRHSC’s smoke-free grounds policy is based on up-to-date research and includes valuable lessons learned over the past nine years from patients, families, staff and the public and from various other hospitals and institutions that also adopted progressive policies. The revised policy is the result of a number of engagement sessions with the community. The new approach includes:
- An awareness campaign for patients, families, staff and the public;
- A system that identifies patients who smoke so that we can provide them with support;
- Trained staff and clinicians in quit smoking practices;
- A supportive environment that treats tobacco use as an addiction
Some of the supports in place include:
- Care Kits which are free resources on quitting smoking that are available for anybody looking for more support at the Information Desk;
- Support for patients at bedside to reduce or quit smoking; with follow-up when they are discharged;
- Time between launching the new initiative and enforcing the policy so that people have the proper amount of time to prepare for changes;
- Education and support sessions for all staff; and
- Various other initiatives that include community partners such as the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Smokers’ Helpline, and community pharmacists who can help to support people who want to quit or reduce smoking.
For more information about TBRHSC’s Smoke-Free policy as well as resources and information about tobacco cessation, visit www.tbrhsc.net/smokefree