Bathurst Hospital will launch the Western NSW Local Health District’s ‘You just don’t smoke around hospitals’ on Monday, 1st of June.
Health District Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said that a decade after hospitals officially went smoke free, it’s time for everyone to seriously make the effort to keep our hospitals clear of the health risks associated with second-hand smoke.
“Our health services are places to get well, not places to be exposed to second-hand smoke,” Mr McLachlan said.
“Tobacco is the largest easily preventable cause of death and illness in our society today, and we need to ensure a safe, healthy and supportive environment for smokers as well as non-smokers.”
Part of the campaign will be ensuring that patients and staff are aware of the support available, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).
Manager of Health Promotion, Lyndal O’Leary said that like schools and restaurants, hospitals should be regarded as inappropriate places to smoke.
“We hope this campaign will draw focus back to the need for everyone in the community to support us in making hospitals healthier, smoke-free spaces,” she said.
This renewed push to remind people of the existing smoke-free health policy comes as the final stages of new NSW smoke-free environment legislation come into effect. Among the changes are new rules around smoking near the entrances to public buildings and smoke-free outdoor dining areas which come into effect in July, as well as the power for Health Districts to develop by-laws regulating smoking on campus.
Western NSW Local Health District is not enacting a by-law, so all health facilities and their grounds will remain totally smoke-free.
“This means that anyone wishing to smoke will have to leave health service grounds at all facilities across the Health District,” Mrs. O’Leary said.
The campaign ‘You just don’t smoke around hospitals’ has been run with success in other Local Health Districts across NSW and is funded as part of the annual World No Tobacco Day activities.