FOUR MORE HOSPITAL campuses are to become tobacco-free zones from Monday.
Bantry General Hospital (BGH), Mallow General Hospital (MGH), Kerry General Hospital (KGH) and the adjacent community services facility, and St Luke’s Hospital Rathgar campus will become tobacco-free campuses from Monday 6 January 2014.
This means that from that day forward, smoking will not be permitted anywhere on the grounds of these healthcare facilities.
The HSE South is also introducing a smoking ban on the grounds of many of its healthcare facilities throughout the South East, including:
- Dungarvan Community Hospital
- South Tipperary Community Services
- South Tipperary General Hospital
- South Tipperary Mental Health Services/Clonmel campus
- Several health centres in South Tipperary
- St. Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny
- Waterford Community Services
- Wexford Community Services
- Wexford General Hospital
- Carlow/Kilkenny Community Services.
The ban will apply to all staff, patients, visitors and contractors and all patients are being informed of the new policy in advance of their admission to hospital.
Patients who smoke and are admitted to hospital will be offered free nicotine replacement therapy during their stay.
Patients can also be referred to the HSE’s free Smoking Cessation Services.
Dr Osama Salib, Consultant Radiation Oncologist and Joint Chair of the St Luke’s Tobacco Free Campus Working Group, said that the initiative “provides an environment that promotes health and supports those who want to stop smoking.”
Dr Salib said that research conducted prior to implementing the policy indicated that the majority of staff and patients are in favour of a tobacco-free campus.
The facts are indisputable when it comes to the health gains; giving up smoking greatly improves a patient’s recovery.
Dr Susan O Reilly, Director of the National Cancer Control Programme, described it as “a very timely development”, as “we anticipate a 108 per cent increase in the growth rate of invasive cancers over the next 20 years”.