Today Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC) are proud to renew their commitment to being smoke free.
This means that all SHSC sites will be completely smoke free for service users, members of staff, and visitors. Lighters, matches and tobacco products will not be permitted.
So what’s the thinking behind this?
Firstly, going smoke free is proven to improve the health of everyone: service users, staff and visitors.
People with a mental health condition are more likely to smoke than those without. Because of this, far too many people with mental health conditions die up to 20 years sooner.
And smoking tobacco doesn’t just harm the person smoking, it harms others around them. This does not have to be the case. As providers of medical treatment and care, SHSC is committed to helping people make the switch to a healthier future.
Secondly, allowing tobacco and items like lighters on wards creates an unacceptable fire risk which puts the lives of service users, staff and visitors at greater risk.
How will we support our service users who smoke?
All service users at SHSC who smoke will be offered the most effective evidence based treatments. This will support them to manage their tobacco dependence without being exposed to the thousands of harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke.
These treatments include:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), such as patches, gum, lozenges or sprays
- Vaping products - e-cigarettes
- Behaviour change support
Trained staff will work with service users to assess their tobacco dependence and collaboratively agree a plan that supports them throughout their stay with us.
Beverley Murphy, Director of Nursing, Professions and Operations at SHSC, said: “If we do one thing to support the improved physical health and economic situation of people with mental health problems it should be to support people to end their dependence on tobacco. Smoking cigarettes has a slow and determined impact on physical health and it reduces the money available to people who smoke and their families. Let’s support people to improve their long term health and their life.”
Pete Stewart, Healthy Hospital and Community Programme Manager, said: “Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition, not a lifestyle choice. We are determined to do all we can to improve the physical health – as well as the mental health – of our service users as part of their treatment. Making our sites smoke free will improve the health and wellbeing of everyone on our inpatient wards.”