Staff, patients and visitors to Western NSW Local Health District facilities can breathe easier this World No Tobacco Day (Saturday 31 May) with the launch of new initiatives to keep smoking and its associated health risks away from health sites. Orange Health Service will be the first of the major sites to implement a renewed push to see the NSW Health Smoke-Free Workplace Policy become reality.
“It’s been a long time coming, but after 10 years of having smoke-free policies it’s time for all of us to seriously make the effort to keep our hospitals clear of the health risks associated with second- hand smoke,” said Scott McLachlan, Chief Executive.
Manager for Health Promotion Lyndal O’Leary said a good job was done of spreading the message and cleaning up our sites to make hospitals healthier, supportive environments when NSW Health bought in smoke-free health facilities in 2002.
“In some sites, we still manage quite well. In the decade since the change though, particularly in our larger sites, people are becoming complacent.”
The campaign “You just don’t smoke around hospitals” has previously been championed with success in other local health districts and will highlight that public hospitals are public spaces, and need to be smoke-free.
“We’ve chosen to extend this successful campaign to our area, to send a clear message to staff and those in our care, what has been obvious to many people for a long time: just like you don’t smoke around kids, you just don’t smoke around hospitals.” Mrs O’Leary said.
This campaign will be given additional focus as it draws attention to legislation that came into effect in January 2013, bringing health services and their surrounds along with a range of other public outdoor areas under the cover of the smoke free environment act.
Staff and contractors at Orange Health Service will assist to address existing challenges around smoking, with support available for patients, visitors and employees. The campaign will be rolled out in other Health District facilities over the next 12 months.
Pass it on. You just don’t smoke around hospitals.