KHSC participates in National Non-Smoking Week

News / General
By Meaghan Quinn

This annual event kicks off Monday, January 22 and is aimed at helping people who are interested to reduce or quit smoking.

To help continue to support a safe and healthy environment for patients, families, visitors and staff, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is participating in National Non-Smoking Week. This annual event kicks off Monday, January 22 and is aimed at helping people who are interested to reduce or quit smoking.

“We want to let staff, learners and volunteers at both sites know that we have many supports and resources available to help them,” says Christine Khiyaza, Smoking Cessation Coordinator. “This is also a good opportunity to remind people about the recent updates to the smoke-free legislation that have come into effect.”

As of January 1, 2018 smoking on hospital properties in Ontario is illegal. This came about as part of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which has is legislation aimed at protecting the health of all Ontarians.

For KHSC, this will have minimal impact as both sites have been smoke-free well before this legislation came into place. However, it will mean that anyone caught smoking on hospital property will now face higher fines. Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, individuals could face a fine of $1,000 for a first offense.

“We have signage in place reminding people that we are a smoke-free facility and our Security staff regularly patrol to ensure individuals are not smoking on hospital property,” says Rocky Prosser, Director of Emergency Management, Security and Life Safety. “When we do notice people smoking where they shouldn’t be, we use it as an opportunity to remind them of the supports available to them and give them a warning for any infraction before having to escalate to a fine.”

For anyone interested in quitting smoking, there are several options available.

Patients are encouraged to speak with their care team to leverage the help of the smoking cessation program. Any visitors to KHSC are encouraged to contact Smokers' Helpline, a free, confidential service that is available in both English and French. To contact Smokers' Helpline phone 1-877-513-5333 or visit www.smokershelpline.ca

“It often takes many attempts, and some help, to succeed at anything,” says Khiyaza. “Quitting smoking is no different. I encourage everyone to use the supports available to them to help with their  efforts.”