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Smoking policy

Our health service is committed to providing a smoke-free environment for all patients, visitors and staff.

All hospitals have a smoke-free policy. Smoking (including the use of e-cigarettes) is not permitted on our hospital grounds or within five metres of the campus boundary. Please speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you experience cravings or find it difficult to cope without smoking.

What happens when I can't smoke?

You may have symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine, the addictive drug in tobacco. It is easy to confuse these feelings with worries or stress about being in hospital.

Nicotine withdrawal can cause:

  • cravings for cigarettes
  • depressed mood
  • increased appetite
  • irritability, frustration, anger
  • anxiety
  • trouble sleeping
  • restlessness.

These symptoms are signs that the level of nicotine in your body is decreasing. They can start a few hours to a few days after smoking your last cigarette, but everyone is different. They peak two to three days after quitting and decrease over time.

How can I relieve cravings to smoke?

You can relieve cravings and discomfort by using one or both of these products in the hospital:

  • nicotine gum
  • nicotine patch.

These are available free on every ward*. These products must be used correctly for best results—ask your ward pharmacist or nurse for instructions.

These products will:

  • make you more comfortable—even if you don't plan to quit smoking
  • double your chance of success, if you try to cut down or quit.

Now is a good time to quit smoking!

When you smoke:

  • it takes longer to recover from illness and surgery
  • your heart rate and blood pressure go up
  • your wounds and bones heal more slowly
  • your lungs get more congested
  • your chance of a heart attack, stroke or cancer goes up
  • you may need higher doses of your medications
  • you expose your loved ones to second-hand smoke.

Since hospitals are smoke-free and you have good support, being in the hospital is a great time to quit! While in hospital, you may be asked about smoking and offered assistance to quit by multiple health professionals.

What do I do if I want to quit smoking?

Don't wait! Ask for help today from your hospital doctor, nurse, pharmacist or therapist.

Nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches and gum are available in our hospital—they are FREE during your inpatient stay.

Most therapies that assist with quitting work best when continued for at least three months. There are other medications available to help you quit smoking. You can follow up with your local doctor or health care provider when you get home.

What if I don't want to quit smoking?

Because you can't smoke at hospital, using the nicotine patch or gum will help with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and make you more comfortable. Our staff may recommend that you use these products—remember, they are FREE during your inpatient stay.

Please be aware that you may incur a fine if you choose to smoke on the hospital grounds.

Last updated 21 October 2016
Last reviewed 21 October 2016

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