Third hospital starts total smoking ban

Third hospital starts total smoking ban

By Eilish O’Regan
Thursday July 01 2010

A third major hospital will go entirely smoke-free from today, banning patients, visitors and staff from lighting up anywhere on its campus.

The Mater in Dublin joins St Vincent’s Hospital on the southside of the capital and Cork University Hospital in imposing an outright ban on smoking on its grounds, removing all existing shelters.

A spokesman said a blue line had been put at all entry points to the hospital on Eccles Street and the North Circular Road, defining the smoke-free boundary to the campus.

“Smoking shelters previously provided outside the hospital will no longer exist.

“Staff, visitors and patients are being asked to not bring any cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco on to the campus,” the spokesman said.

He said that while around 75pc of in-patients did not smoke, the hospital realised that this change would be difficult for some staff and patients.

“Hospital staff, doctors and nurses are working to help ease the transition to a smoke-free campus by providing assistance to patients with information prior to their admission to the hospital and by supplying patients with nicotine dependency the option of nicotine replacement therapy and counselling support during their stay,” the spokesman added.

“The smoking ban applies to all people on the campus, including staff, visitors, patients and external contractors.

“While staff are not being asked to quit smoking, they are being asked to refrain from smoking on campus.

“Staff are also being provided support through internal programmes and reduced prices on nicotine replacement products through the Mater Hospital pharmacy.”

Psychiatrist Dr Brion Sweeney said: “By launching a smoking-free campus the Mater hospital is providing a clear lead on health enhancement and promoting wellness.

“It is also highlighting an opportunity to intervene with those patients who are smoking on admission by offering patients who smoke treatment and psychological support for those who want to quit.”

–          Eilish O’Regan

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