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Countdown to Smoke Free Campus at Mayo General Hospital

Mayo General Hospital (MGH) is introducing a smoke free campus policy on Wednesday 05 March.
From this date it will no longer be possible to smoke anywhere on the hospital grounds, for example entrances, doorways, walkways, internal roads, car parks, cars etc.
As a leading healthcare provider, MGH is committed to reducing the use of tobacco and its harmful health effects. MGH aims to create a healthier, smoke free, clean environment for its patients, staff and visitors.
The policy will apply to all staff, patients, visitors, contractors and anyone who enters the hospital buildings / grounds.
Dr Michael O’Neill, Clinical Director, Mayo General Hospital says, “Smoking is the single biggest cause of ill-health and death in our society; it is the single biggest cause of cancer and chronic chest diseases and is a significant cause of cardiovascular disease and exacerbation of diabetes.
“This major cause of illness, chronic disability and death, is preventable, yet accounts for some 5,500 deaths in Ireland each year. Most smokers want to quit and most also would prefer that they never started smoking in the first place.
“The HSE has set a target of introducing a Smoke Free Campus Policy to all health campuses by 2015 and we are introducing this policy at Mayo General Hospital on 05 March 2014. The HSE has also developed a QUIT campaign to provide supports for people who want to quit smoking. We will be supporting patients who want to quit smoking and we will be offering smoking cessation advice and support to patients to help them quit smoking or to manage their addiction during their hospital stay.
“Quitting smoking reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease. Within 20 minutes of quitting your circulation will improve and your heart rate and blood pressure will get lower.”
Charlie Meehan, General Manager says, “We realise that the introduction of a Smoke Free Campus policy will take time to implement fully but the experience of the other hospitals which have introduced this policy has been very positive and we believe that the majority of people will support the implementation of the new policy.
“We will be able to grant exemptions to the policy for patients in certain circumstances with the input from their Consultant. In this way we may make exceptions for the most vulnerable patients while also encouraging all other patients to adopt healthier tobacco-free lifestyles in order to decrease the incidence of smoking related disease. Providing a smoke free environment sends a clear message that this hospital is committed to protecting and promoting the health of our patients, staff and all who visit Mayo General Hospital.”