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National No Smoking Day at Letterkenny Hospital

Yesterday, Wednesday 05 March, was National No Smoking Day’. It is 18 months since Letterkenny Hospital and St Conal’s Hospital introduced the Smoke Free Campus Policy and we would like to remind patients and visitors to the campus of the reasons why it was introduced and the benefits to date.
Elaine Robinson, Smoking Cessation Clinical Nurse Specialist at Letterkenny Hospital says, “We introduced the smoke free / tobacco free policy to make no smoking the norm at the hospital campus, to treat tobacco smoking as a healthcare issue and to improve the medical treatment outcomes of patients who use tobacco.
“Whilst a few patients have found this change challenging, many have welcomed the policy, and others state the policy has helped them stop smoking while in hospital. Some patients have disclosed that they used their hospital admission as an opportunity to quit. This is evidenced by an increase in requests for treatment during admission, patients accessing treatment prior to admission and an increase in the willingness of inpatients to continue treatment and support post discharge.
“Patients, who in the past have expressed great difficulty not smoking while in hospital, were able to stop smoking on their recent admissions. This translated into continued cessation at home; when an individual experiences periods of abstinence with little difficulty this increases their self belief, and raises their confidence level in quitting. This motivates them to put more effort and resources into their quit attempt.
“There is no silver bullet to reducing tobacco use and its exposure; everyone has a role to play in reducing the burden of tobacco on society. To provide a supportive environment for our patients who are trying to quit, those undergoing treatments for cancer, heart or lung diseases or recovering from surgery, we ask all who smoke to respect and support these patients by refraining from smoking anywhere on the hospital campus.
“When our patients and staff members quit, so do their family members and this results in immediate benefits for the whole family. When parents or grandparents quit, this removes the norm of smoking for their children and grandchildren, reducing the risk of them starting to use tobacco products and protecting them from second hand smoke. The bottom line is one in two children who try smoking will be come daily users and as an adult, 1 in 2 will die early from a tobacco related disease.
“We would like to remind all patients and visitors to not to use any tobacco product including e-cigarettes anywhere on the hospital campus, help us make no smoking the normal and treat tobacco smoking as a healthcare issue at Letterkenny Hospital and St Conal’s Campus”.
Photo Details:
To mark ‘National No Smoking Day’ on Wednesday 05 March, Letterkenny General Hospital would like to remind patients and visitors of the reasons why a Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Campus policy was introduced and the benefits to date. Photo taken during the Minister for Health’s visit to the hospital on Monday 03 March, from left: Sean Murphy, General Manager, Letterkenny Hospital; Madge Robson, Patient Forum representative; Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD; Bill Maher, CEO, West / North West Hospitals Group; Elaine Robinson, Smoking Cessation Officer, Letterkenny Hospital; Muriel Perry, Patient Forum representative; and Deputy Dinny McGinley TD.