Hurling manager Brian Cody has launched the Tobacco Free campus at St. Luke’s General Hospital and Kilcreene Orthopaedic Hospital which came into effect on January 6.
The policy is also being implemented in community health centre facilities throughout counties Carlow and Kilkenny.
“Introducing the Smoke Free Campus policy here in Kilkenny provides an environment that promotes health and supports those who want to stop smoking. The facts are indisputable when it comes to the health gains. Giving up smoking greatly improves the chances of patients’ recovery, which is the aim of being in hospital. I am encouraging the public to support the efforts here, in trying to establish a norm whereby no one smokes on campus.
“Help is also in place for patients and staff who want to stop smoking completely - it is important that people take up the challenge and take good care of their health,” said Mr Cody.
Doctor Brian Canavan, who was recently appointed as a respiratory consultant at the hospital said that it is ‘especially important to educate people on the benefits of stopping smoking’.
“A huge percentage of chronic lung disorders are linked with smoking. Smoking is a leading risk factor in 90% of cases and for many people chronic lung disease is a hugely preventative disease.
“Giving up smoking is of huge benefit and almost immediately improves lung function. The first thing I tell my patients is to stop smoking,” said Dr Canavan.
In keeping with Kilcreene and St. Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny’s status as health promoting hospitals, the policy will mean that smoking will not be permitted anywhere on their grounds. This will include entrances, doorways, walkways, internal roads, bus shelters, car parks and bicycle shelters.
The tobacco free policy at St. Luke’s and Kilcreene will apply to all staff, patients, visitors, contractors and any other person who enters the hospital buildings or grounds. The purpose is to ensure a healthier, safer and cleaner environment for all and better health outcomes for patients and staff.
Similar initiatives have been in place, with positive results, in other hospital campuses around the country (including Waterford Regional Hospital) – as the HSE moves to have tobacco free campuses applicable at all of its acute hospitals by 2015. For information on how to stop smoking see www.quit.ie