How will the ban on smoking on SLMHC grounds be enforced?
- SLMHC will be conducting an awareness campaign to educate the public, staff and visitors about the new smoke-free grounds regulation. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of the new rules.
- Security staff will monitor grounds and provide information and warnings to visitors or patients found smoking.
- Staff may face disciplinary measures if they are found smoking on hospital property or if they take extra or extended breaks to smoke.
- After January 1, 2018, Tobacco Enforcement Officers employed by local public health units and designated under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act will enforce the ban on smoking on hospital grounds. Active enforcement will be primarily complaint driven and known hotspots for smoking will be monitored.
- Repeat offenders may be subject to fines or charges.
If staff cannot make it to the property edge and back to the hospital during their breaks, aren't we violating their rights?
- The hospital is responsible for establishing regulations to ensure a safe and halthy environment for everyone.
- All hospitals will bcome completely smoke-free as of January 1, 2018 as per the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
- A smoke-free property supports the hospital's vision, mission and values.
- Evidence regarding the negative health effects of the residue left on hands and clothes after smoking (e.g., third-hand smoke) continues to grow and we need to be mindful of its potential impact on newborn babies and other vulnerable patients in a hospital's care.
- Staff will be provided resources to help them quit, reduce smoking, or utilize nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help manage their symptoms while working.
Where will people go to smoke? Aren’t we just pushing people onto sidewalks or into residential areas?
- Smoke-free grounds may displace smokers, but limiting people’s exposure to smoking and second-hand smoke is important for upholding the health of patients, hospital staff, volunteers and visitors.
- The hospital will engage with its neighbours and partners to ensure the smoke-free regulation will be implemented smoothly
Can visitors, staff and others smoke in their cars on the property? What about on the Hostel grounds?
- Smoking is not allowed in a car when the car is on hospital property.
- Individuals not staying at the Hostel who smoke on Hostel grounds may be charged with trespassing.
What about patient safety and those who physically cannot leave the property or are addicted to tobacco? Aren’t you creating a dangerous situation for some or making it outright impossible for them to smoke?
- All patients will be screened when registering at the hospital to determine if they require nicotine replacement therapies to manage withdrawal symptoms.
- The hospital provides quit smoking resources and nicotine replacement therapy (the patch, gum, lozenges, inhaler etc.) to those who need to manage their nicotine withdrawal while they stay at the hospital.
- If patients’ nicotine withdrawal is managed, the urge to smoke is significantly reduced and patients are less likely to smoke on hospital grounds or face potential safety risks associated with leaving the grounds to smoke.
Why is SLMHC going smoke-free?
Having 100% smoke-free grounds reflects the hospital’s mission, vision and values and promotes the benefits of a smoke-free environment to the community.
- Smoke-free hospital grounds protect patients, staff, volunteers and visitors from exposure to second-hand smoke and tobacco use.
- Hospital admissions can prompt smokers to make a quit attempt and presents an opportune time for health care professionals to provide them with cessation supports. Smoke-free environments can support these quit attempts and help those who have quit stay quit.
- All hospitals and psychiatric facilities will become completely smoke-free as of January 1, 2018, in accordance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Going smoke-free as of April 1, 2017 will help SLMHC move towards this legislated change. For details on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/smoke-free-ontario.