KGH now entirely smoke free

News / General
By John Pereira

In a continued effort to ensure a safe and healthy environment for patients, families, visitors and staff, Kingston General Hospital (KGH) became a smoke-free property on November 1, 2015.

“This is part of our commitment to eliminate all preventable harm,” says Jim Flett, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. This change will help us provide a safer, healthier and cleaner environment for everyone who works, learns, volunteers and receives care at KGH.”

According to Smoke Free Ontario, exposure to second-hand smoke causes about 425 deaths in Ontario annually. As a health care organization, it is important that KGH shows leadership and provides a healthy environment to everyone who comes to the hospital.

“In my practice I see the effects of smoking on the health outcomes for my patients,” says Dr. Stephen Archer, Program Medical Director at Kingston General Hospital. “Smoking affects every organ in the body and the health implications are real. It is leading cause of many cancers, as well as heart attack, stroke and coronary pulmonary obstructive disease. Our region has the second highest smoking rate in Ontario, it is time to take action and KGH has.”

To support patients who smoke, KGH is offering support and smoking cessation opportunities for those who want to make an attempt to quit. All patients are encouraged to speak with their health-care team upon admission about their options. Extra smoking cessation programs are also being made available for KGH staff.

What this means for hospital patients and visitors:

  • Individuals can no longer smoke on hospital property. The three smoking shelters on KGH property have been removed. 
  • Supports are in place for patients and staff who want to make an attempt to quit. This support includes increased access to smoking cessation opportunities such as nicotine replacement therapy. All KGH patients who smoke are offered the opportunity to quit, with support from our smoking cessation coordinator upon admission to the hospital.
  • If a patient wishes to leave the property to smoke, they should discuss this with their nurse or physician.

“We are always working to provide a safe, healthy and healing environment for our community as we work towards our aim of providing Outstanding Care, Always,” says Flett. “This is another step towards us helping accomplish that.”