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Southland DHB to go Smokefree

SDHB to go Smokefree

Southland District Health Board (SDHB) will become a completely smokefree environment and workplace from 31 May 2004, World Smokefree Day, Chief Operating Officer Lexie O’Shea announced today.

“This means that smoking will not be permitted anywhere on the grounds of SDHB premises by staff, patients, visitors or contractors” Mrs O’Shea says.

Whilst smoking has not been permitted inside SDHB buildings for some time, people have been able to smoke outside of buildings and in carparks. The new policy, which also forbids smoking in private vehicles on SDHB grounds, will mean people wishing to smoke will need to go off site.

Mrs O’Shea says the decision to become completely smokefree has intensified following the recent passing of the Smokefree Amendments Act 2003 and it supports the New Zealand Health Strategy’s priority population health objective to reduce the rate of smoking and smoking related diseases.

“Just as important, becoming smokefree is a way for SDHB to protect our patients, visitors, staff and contractors from second-hand smoke” she adds.

The exception to the policy will be for mental health inpatients, who will only be permitted to smoke in a designated area of the inpatient unit.

MidCentral and Auckland District Health Boards (DHBs) are amongst others that have already implemented the smokefree policy, with all DHBs having made a commitment to become smokefree by August 2004.

Support for staff and inpatients will be provided by the SDHB Smoking Cessation Coordinator. Further information and advice on support programmes available will be communicated in the coming months.

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