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Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Goes 100% Smoke-Free on January 1, 2018

Chatham-Kent: December 12, 2017 – Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is preparing for implementation of new provincial legislation that comes into effect January 1, 2018 that will prohibit smoking cigarettes and any other smoking product on hospital property; this includes existing smoking shelters, exterior grounds, parking lots, bus shelters and the property of 47 Emma Street and the Foundation of CKHA.   

“This new provincial legislation helps protect our patients, families, visitors, staff and the public from the hazards of second-hand smoke,” said Lori Marshall, President and CEO. “This legislation dictates that as of January 1, 2018, all hospital properties will become 100 per cent smoke-free. As Health Care Providers, we at CKHA fully support this direction and will introduce the necessary policies and supports to implement this change."

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is preparing to implement new provincial legislation that comes into effect on January 1, 2018 that will prohibit smoking cigarettes and any other smoking product on its hospital campuses.

Currently, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act allows for a designated smoking area for every hospital in Ontario as long as they are not within a nine metre radius of any entrance or exit. The new legislation will require that all designated smoking areas be removed as of January 1, 2018. CKHA’s Chatham and Wallaceburg Campuses will no longer provide sheltered gazebos for smoking. As of January 1, the designated smoking gazebos at both campuses will be removed as well as the accompanying designated smoking signage. The donated gazebo will remain at the Wallaceburg Campus as it has never served as a designated smoking area.

Under these new restrictions, hospital security guards will be the first line of enforcement and will have the ability to ticket people who are smoking on hospital property. CKHA will work with the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit’s Tobacco Enforcement Officer, who has grounds to lay charges. Violators are subject to a fine of $175 up to a maximum of $5000.

CKHA supports patients admitted to hospital by providing access to nicotine replacement therapy. Staff will continue to work with individuals admitted as inpatients to offer appropriate smoking cessation supports. CKHA also offers smoking cessation programs for staff.

“With this new legislation, it’s important that we heighten our focus on smoking cessation supports for our patients,” said Lisa Northcott, Vice President, Chief Nursing Executive & Chief Professional Practice. “Helping our patients quit smoking ensures improved health outcomes for the long-term. Our Professional Practice Team will work closely with staff to ensure patients are provided appropriate therapies and alternatives to smoking.”

CKHA anticipates that with the new legislation coming into effect January 1, 2018, some smokers will leave hospital property to smoke in near-by neighbourhoods. CKHA will be informing its neighbours in close-proximity to hospital grounds of this new legislation and is reminding smokers to be respectful of the residents who live around both campuses. In the coming weeks, outdoor signage bordering hospital property will inform the public of the new legislation.

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The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit offers a variety of smoking cessation supports to the community, visit www.ckphu.com/quit/ to learn more.

To learn more about the Smoke-Free Act Ontario, visit: www.mhp.gov.on.ca/en/smoke-free.

For more information please contact:
Fannie Vavoulis, Director, Chief Communications & Community Engagement Officer
fvavoulis [at] ckha [dot] on [dot] ca
519.352.6401 x 6143

 

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Chatham Campus

Chatham Site

80 Grand Avenue West
P.O. Box 2030
Chatham, ON N7M 5L9

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325 Margaret Ave
Wallaceburg, ON N8A 2A7

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