Beginning November 1, the NBRHC will go completely smoke-free (including vaping) at its facility, a full two months ahead of the provincially-mandated January 1, 2018, date.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act stipulation has always loomed, so the NBRHC has been preparing patients, staff, and visitors for the change by being proactive. An awareness campaign about the changes to expect has been launched at the NBRHC and smoking cessation aids will be offered. There are smokers who are confined to the grounds, such as mental health patients, who will be impacted by the initiative.
Dr. Jim Chirico, the medical officer of health has long been in favour of a 100 per cent smoke-free health centre. When the hospital opened, municipal politicians could have mandated such a scenario, but patients’ rights were invoked and a gradual smoke-free policy emerged.
Smokers who ignore the November 1 ban face a fine of up to $5,000.