Sault Area Hospital (SAH) is Smoke Free
SAH provides a healthy and healing setting for all patients, employees, physicians, volunteers and visitors. Smoking increases your chances of having complications before and after receiving anesthetic and it results in higher wound and respiratory infection rates, increasing your chance of both staying in the hospital longer and having to be re-admitted after discharge. Smoking is the most avoidable cause of illness and premature death and there is very strong evidence to show that breathing second-hand smoke is harmful to health. As a result, SAH prohibits smoking on all SAH property.
APH Tobacco Enforcement Officers will issue tickets to violators of the policy, with fines starting at $255. APH Officers and SAH Security personnel are routinely patrolling the grounds, supported by video surveillance cameras. Tickets may be issued on the basis of witness statements and/or video evidence and do not require the on-site presence of Enforcement Officers at the time of the violation.
The entire SAH property is officially smoke-free, including all buildings, parking lots, the Hub Trail running along the eastern edge of the hospital grounds, the roads encircling the hospital leading to/from both Great Northern Road and Third Line and wooded and grass areas to the south and west of the Emergency Department and helipad. SAH property also includes sidewalks and grass areas adjacent to the access roads as well as the parcel of land situated south of Third Line and east of the Davey Home. Smoking is not allowed anywhere, including in vehicles, while on SAH property. The policy applies to all patients, visitors, staff, physicians and volunteers.
Respect for Adjacent Property Owners
All visitors are reminded to respect the rights and privacy of the property owners in proximity to the hospital grounds. Please remember that it is also illegal to trespass and/or litter on private properties of homeowners, businesses, retirement/nursing homes or schools in the surrounding area.
What If I am a smoker and I have to stay in hospital?
SAH will help you to manage your withdrawal while you are in hospital. If your admission is for an elective procedure, talk to your doctor about this before coming to the hospital. Your doctor can prescribe medications that will help you through your hospital stay. Your local pharmacist is also a source of valuable information as some smoking withdrawal medications are available over the counter. Certified Smoking Cessation Specialists in Sault Ste. Marie can also help you before you are admitted (see community resources identified below).
If you are admitted for a non-elective reason, your nurse will talk to you about your smoking pattern when you are admitted. The nurse will tell you about medications that can be prescribed, free, while you are in hospital to manage smoking withdrawal. These include ‘the patch’ and nicotine gum, and medications for anxiety.
What if I still choose to smoke while I am in hospital?
Smoking is prohibited in the buildings and on the grounds of SAH. If you choose to smoke, a pass for you to leave the hospital grounds is required. If you need help, you will need to be accompanied by a family member or responsible adult. Nursing staff will not help you on your pass. You will need to sign a form, and any medical equipment must be removed before you leave hospital grounds.
Will there be any help for me when I leave the hospital?
A smoking cessation package is available and can be provided upon discharge.
Community resources include:
Algoma Public Health (APH) offers assistance to people who are interested in quitting: (705) 759-5287 www.algomapublichealth.com
The Group Health Centre has a program available for its members: (705) 759-4444 www.ghc.on.ca
The Smokers’ Helpline is also available to assist you in your effort to quit smoking: 1-877-513-5333
In addition to SAH support for inpatients during their stay in hospital, there are a number of options available in the community and online for residents wishing to quit or better manage their tobacco dependency.
View a complete list of community resources here