It is the policy of Northumberland Hills Hospital to provide a smoke free/vapour free environment within its buildings and on hospital grounds, including vehicles parked on NHH property. Use of tobacco, e-cigarettes, and recreational or medical cannabis products where smoke or vapour is emitted is not permitted anywhere on NHH property, with the exception of the exclusions noted below.
NHH was one of the first hospitals in the province to go smoke-free throughout its property, including hospital grounds, when the 1000 DePalma Drive building opened in October 2003. Following staff consultation, the hospital renewed its commitment to this policy in January 2015 and extended the ban to e-cigarettes. In October 2018, policy guidance was updated to include explicit reference to cannabis.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure NHH's compliance with relevant legislation, while also promoting wellness and an appreciation for the evidence linking smoking to health status.
Failure to comply with NHH's non-smoking policy may result in:
a) a fine in accordance with the Town of Cobourg By-Law 02-2003, the Tobacco Control Act, the Electronic Cigarette Act, and the Cannabis Act;
b) in the case of staff, progressive discipline, including reporting to the regulated college; and
c) in the case of visitors, eviction.
Palliative patients may be granted privileges to smoke at the discretion of the Vice President or designate. As well, the traditional uses of tobacco that form part of Aboriginal culture and spirituality are welcome in the NHH's Spiritual Care Centre or in select areas of the hospital, on approval, as required.
Support for Patients
Patients who are admitted to NHH and need help remaining smoke-free have access to a variety of free smoking cessation supports, including nicotine replacement therapy, counselling and other services. Exceptions are made for palliative patients only, and only with the express consent of the Vice President, Patient Services or designate.
Support for Area Residents
Smoke-Free Living sessions are offered locally by a number of agencies, including the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. For details contact the Health Unit directly at 1-866-888-4577 or visit their website at www.hkpr.on.ca. Other supports are available through the Smoker's Helpline at 1-877-513-5333 or www.smokershelpline.ca or from Health Canada.