BREATHE EASY DAY - 1 November 2006
The Sunshine Coast Health Service District is clearing the air, and all health facilities within its boundaries will be 100% smoke free from November 1 this year.
Sunshine Coast Health Service District Manager Kevin Hegarty said the facts spoke for themselves.
"Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death and disease in Australia, with the smoking toll averaging 3400 deaths each year," Mr Hegarty said.
"That is why the Queensland Government has put in place the toughest smoking laws in Australia."
A range of options are available to help Queensland Health inpatients on the Sunshine Coast who want to quit smoking.
"All patients admitted to Sunshine Coast Health Service District hospitals are offered free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help them not smoke during their hospital stay," Mr Hegarty said.
"Nicotine patches and gum reduce withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, irritability and anxiety. The nicotine replacement therapy, rather than smoking, also improves surgical results," he said.
From November 1, anyone found smoking on Queensland Health grounds in the Sunshine Coast District faces a $150 on-the-spot fine.
Under new legislation introduced in July this year, anyone approached by an authorised Queensland Health Officer for smoking in a restricted area is required by law to provide their correct name and address.
"I hope the community will support this initiative to improve the health of patients, staff and visitors by butting out in or around Queensland Health facilities on the coast." Mr Hegarty said.
'Breathe Easy Day' kicks off the Sunshine Coast Health Service Districts total smoking ban on Wednesday November 1 with a symbolic cutting of the cake at the front of the Nambour General Hospital at 10:00am.