News

Smoking ban for Ipswich Hospital

THE days of patients and staff heading outside for a smoke at the Ipswich Hospital are numbered, with health officials set to ban smoking on hospital grounds by May.

Hospital staff and patients will be encouraged to quit smoking and will be offered nicotine replacement therapy to kick the habit.

The hospital joins the Ipswich Mall as two city locations where lighting up is frowned on.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service chief executive Lesley Dwyer said even the hospital's designated smoking areas would be removed by World No Tobacco Day, May 31.

"That's why we are looking to implement a smoking cessation plan at Ipswich Hospital. We will be pulling together a group of health professionals, smokers and others to work on a plan to make this hospital and its grounds completely smoke-free by World No Tobacco Day," she said.

"We want this plan to include working with our patients and how best to help them quit smoking and to also look at how best to implement programs to help our staff quit smoking."

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he supported the hospital's move after introducing the smoking ban in the Ipswich Mall on February 1.

"The hospital is a hospital and the last thing you want is smoking around the hospital. I support that 100%," he said.

"We are not banning smoking. What we are allowing is a smoking free area."

The Ipswich Mall ban had the support of Cr Pisasale's brother and long-time smoker, Councillor Charlie Pisasale.

Smokers face a $110 fine from the council if caught smoking a cigarette in the mall.

A $220 fine will apply for anyone failing to comply with a verbal direction from an authorised officer not to smoke. The introduction of the ban put out a few smokers who frequent the mall.

Ms Dwyer said smoking remained one of the highest risk factors for disease in Australia and a burden on the state's health resources.

Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, and several other conditions.

She said on average Queensland had 36,000 smoking related hospitalisations each year.

"These are all very good reasons why I want Ipswich Hospital to be smoke free, and why it is so important that we introduce a smoking cessation plan."

Topics:  ipswich hospital, smoking ban



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