Smoke Free HSC

12/08/2016

Smoking is now prohibited in all Trust buildings, grounds and car parks across hospital and community sites. The Smokefree initiative is welcomed by the South Eastern Trust, and a recent survey has shown that it also has the overwhelming support of our staff, service users and visitors.

The damage to health caused by tobacco is well documented. Smoking can be attributed to around one in ten hospital admissions, and the cost of treating smoking related illnesses in Northern Ireland is around £164 million per year, a sum which would pay the salaries of 8,000 nurses. The Trust is keen to show leadership as a health promoting organisation, and to encourage a cultural shift which will de-normalise the use of tobacco, and lead to more smokers quitting and fewer young people starting to smoke. This ban will help to protect the health of everyone using healthcare facilities.

Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Andrew Hamilton, previously worked at the Western Trust during their implementation of `smoke free` premises and is in no doubt that this is a major step forward .He said: “Each day during my work as a heart consultant I deal with the consequence of smoking causing heart attacks. I am delighted that the Trust has decided to become smoke free this year as it will greatly benefit my patients and our staff. I don’t underestimate how difficult a change this will be for many people. I want to reassure our visitors, patients and staff that the smoke free team is here to help provide support through nicotine replacement products, support and advice.  I hope that within a few weeks we will see a great improvement in the environment at the front of our hospitals with many fewer smokers standing in the rain. “

SE Trust member of staff Craig Brown successfully stopped smoking nearly a year ago. Craig’s seven year old son was instrumental in his decision to quit. He had heard in school about the dangers of smoking and told Craig he was worried that something would happen to him. That was the motivation needed for Craig to see his GP, talk to Stop Smoking Team and really put in the effort required to stop smoking for good. Craig has noticed real improvements in his health and fitness, and energy levels. He has also used the money saved to book a holiday this spring which the whole family can enjoy!

Chief Executive Hugh McCaughey said: “We must all commit to making our facilities smoke free, not just because it is now a directive or legislative requirement, but because it will help improve the health and lives of the community and the people we live beside and amongst.”

To find your nearest specialist service please visit www.want2stop.info or contact the South Eastern Trust Stop Smoking Team on 028 92 501373.