CORNWALL, Ontario – On Jan. 1 2018, all hospitals in the province of Ontario will be mandated to be smoke-free, under the Smoke Free Ontario Act. Until Jan. 1 2018 hospitals are permitted to identify one designated smoking area on the grounds for patients, employees and visitors.
CCH has identified a designated smoking area for staff and patients, until the smoke free deadline of 2018. There has been an increase in smoke free signage, a smoke free logo created and distributed on all patient handouts. E-cigarette use is also prohibited on the property.
An individual found to be smoking in the smoke-free area (indoor or outdoor) of a hospital or psychiatric facility may be charged with an offence, and if convicted, could face a maximum fine of $1, 000 (for a first offence) or $5, 000 (for any further offence)
According to Smoke-Free Ontario, exposure to second-hand smoking causes about 425 deaths in Ontario annually, while tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in Canada, causing 40, 000 premature deaths each year. “It will be a difficult change for some, but staff and patients are encouraged to seek support if they wish to stop smoking while with us,” explains Heather Arthur, VP of Nursing Services and Chief Nursing Officer.