No smoking on TDMH property as of Jan. 1

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As of Jan. 1, 2018, Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital (TDMH) will become a completely smoke-free campus, in accordance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

Smoking will be prohibited in hospital buildings, exterior grounds, parking lots and inside vehicles located on hospital property.

TDMH’s smoke-free policy includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes containing burning tobacco, or any other substance, including marijuana, that can be smoked in any manner.

“TDMH is committed to providing a safe, healthy environment for those who receive care, work in or visit our facilities,” said Sandy Jansen, President and CEO in a media release. “As health care providers and promoters of health and wellbeing, we believe in providing a smoke-free environment for our patients.”

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act limits tobacco use in public spaces with the intention of reducing the many health risks associated with smoking and second-hand smoke. By law, you cannot smoke or hold lighted tobacco in any enclosed workplace, any enclosed public places and specifically designated outdoor places in Ontario. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, hospitals must move to being 100 per cent smoke free.

"TDMH is committed to helping our patients through this transition," said Jansen.

If you are a smoker, it may be challenging for you to adjust to this change. If you feel that following this policy will be difficult, speak to your doctor regarding Nicotine Replacement Therapy to help manage your cravings during your hospital stay.

If you choose to smoke? Your health care team will advise you about your ability to independently and safely leave hospital premises to smoke. This status may change during your hospital stay as physical or cognitive abilities change. If your health care team permits you to leave to smoke, then you will be asked to sign a Smoking Agreement and Waiver to acknowledge any issues that may arise from your decision to leave hospital premises to smoke.

Patients who are unable to access the property boundary independently and safely must make arrangements to be accompanied by a friend or family member. Should a medical emergency occur while you are on town property, or while en route outdoors to or from the smoking area, you must call 911 for medical assistance. Patients must notify their health care team when leaving the hospital property.

Tobacco Enforcement Officers can conduct inspections of public places and workplaces to ensure compliance with the law, respond to complaints about offences, and lay charges when necessary. Smoke-Free Ontario Act fines range from $300 to $300,000. While the Smoke-Free Ontario Act does not currently include the use of electronic cigarettes, TDMH's policy does not permit the use of e-cigarettes on hospital property.

Jansen said TDMH would like to thank everyone in advance for their cooperation and commitment to helping ensure a safe and healthy environment for those who receive care, work in, or visit the facilities.

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