Published June 14, 2021
Smoke-free campus policies at inpatient health facilities are most effective when situated within comprehensive smoking cessation programs that include cessation support for staff and patients and effective communications and signage for staff, patients, and visitors.
Canadian jurisdictions such as Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, British Columbia, and Northwest Territories have provincial smoke-free legislation that applies to the grounds of health facilities. This approach permits public health inspectors and peace officers to enforce the smoke-free grounds rules with the option of issuing fines to individuals or hospital corporations for non-compliance. There is very little existing evidence on the effectiveness of issuing fines as a means of enforcing smoke-free policies.
There can be unique considerations associated with implementing smoke-free policies in inpatient psychiatric facilities or units, given the relationship between mental health and substance use issues and tobacco use. Evidence shows that smoke-free policies are feasible and result in positive health outcomes in psychiatric facilities or units.
Staff may require additional education and training in smoking cessation and tools to support productive conversations with patients, visitors, or colleagues who are not in compliance with smoke-free policies. Examples of tools and communications materials used in other jurisdictions are provided in Appendix 1.