MERCY University Hospital has embraced a national tobacco-free campus policy in conjunction with National No Smoking Day, which fell on Ash Wednesday.
In line with HSE protocols, smoking or the use of electronic cigarettes will not be permitted anywhere on the Mercy campus in the future. Supports have also been put in place for staff and patients who wish to quit.
Carol Hunter, who is the operations director of the Mercy University Hospital, is pleased with their new initiative.
“We want to support both our patients and staff in their efforts to quit smoking,” she said.
“We want to promote health and denormalise smoking on the campus. We will be continuing this project throughout the year. We are seeking the co-operation of everyone to provide clean air for all patients and staff.
“There are 6,000 deaths on an annual basis due to smoking-related incidents which is a frightening statistic.”
The goal of the national tobacco-free campus policy is to protect patients and staff from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. The policy has two clear aims; to treat tobacco addiction as a healthcare issue and to denormalise tobacco use in all healthcare services and settings.
Recent research shows that 79% of smokers intend to quit and people who quit smoking for 28 days, are five times more likely to quit for good.
Surveys also established that 5% of people began smoking again last year as a way of managing stress due to Covid-19.
The HSE Quit Service helps by providing the tools and supports to make it possible to give up smoking. This practical support gives people the best chance of making it to Day 28 and well on the way to long-term success and the many benefits of a smoke-free life.
The National QUIT service and local HSE Smoking Cessation Service are available to all patients and staff by contacting the freephone number 1800-201203.