Tobacco-Free Policy Development and Implementation Support January 27, 2011
Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network aims to create and award Gold Star Standards of Excellence to encourage more hospitals to adopt smoke-free policies, as well as provide ongoing technical assistance to the hospitals around the state. The Network is an initiative of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine.
What is a tobacco-free policy? A 100% tobacco-free policy is one that prohibits smoking and the use of any tobacco products on the hospital campus, including in buildings, parking areas, garages, grounds, and vehicles parked on hospital property.
Why go tobacco-free? Tobacco-free campus policies are a great example of a hospital’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment for patients, employees, visitors and the community as a whole. Tobacco-free policies are a best practice and proven concept – at least 19 hospitals in Maine have already adopted 100% tobacco- free policies.
Tobacco-Free Hospitals in Maine Mercy Hospital, Portland Franklin Memorial Hospital, The Aroostook Medical Center, Farmington Presque Isle Goodall Hospital, Sanford Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Blue Hill Miles Memorial Hospital, C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital, Damariscotta Greenvill Spring Harbor Hospital, Portland Down East Community Hospital, St. Andrews Hospital, Boothbay Machais Harbor Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor Waldo County General Hospital, Inland Hospital, Madison Belfast SebasticookVally Hospital, Pittsfield Northern Maine Medical Center, Fort Kent Parkview Adventist Medical Center, Brunswick Mount Desert Island Hospital, Bar Harbor Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Rockport Cary Medical Center, Caribou
Why go tobacco-free? Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Smoking causes 443,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year. Quitting smoking at any age and at any time is beneficial – tobacco-free policies encourage users to quit. There is no risk free level of secondhand smoke exposure, children, pregnant women and adults with chronic diseases are most vulnerable to exposure.
Why go tobacco-free? “Exposure to tobacco smoke – even occasional smoking or secondhand smoke – causes immediate damage to the body and can lead to serious illness or death.” “Cellular damage and tissue inflammation from tobacco smoke are immediate and repeated exposure weakens the body’s ability to heal the damage.” – from the 2010 Report of the US Surgeon General
Policy Adoption Steps Establish a policy committee/workgroup Draft a tobacco-free policy Gain approval and support from hospital stakeholders Communicate policy before it goes into effect Prepare and distribute educational materials for employees, patients, visitors on the policy and quit resources Implement and enforce policy
Establish Committee/Work Group Group should include: Hospital leadership (administration, senior management) Champions who can lead the effort Employees from different departments of the organization, such as HR, medical staff, facilities management, and others that can bring good perspectives to the table. Include tobacco users if possible Develop a group to investigate policy development: What is our hospital’s current policy? Survey employees to investigate interest in policy* What policy parameters will work for our organization? Determine policy implementation timeframe
Employee Opinion SurveyWe would like to get your opinion on an issue important to our hospital. Please take a few minutes to complete the following survey. This is a confidential survey being done for informational purposes, if you have any questions or concerns please contact (phone number of hospital staff overseeing survey).Do you believe that more needs to be done at our hospital to reduce tobacco use on campus and exposure to secondhand smoke?Yes: ___ No: ___ Neutral/Don’t Know: ___Would you support a hospital property-wide tobacco-free policy that would apply to patients, staff and visitors?Yes: ___ No: ___ Unsure: ___Do you think that other staff would support creating a tobacco-free policy for the hospital?Yes: ___ No: ___ Unsure: ___Do you have a health condition that makes it difficult for you to be around cigarette smoke?Yes: ___ No: ___If yes, please explain: ________________________________________________________If you are a current smoker, would you like help quitting?Yes: ___ No: ___ Don’t Smoke: ___What supports do you think need to be in place for a property-wide tobacco-free policy to be successful? ________________________________________________________________________ Any other comments to add?Thank you for sharing your opinion with us!
Develop Tobacco Policy Language Important language aspects include: Purpose Why is your organization adopting a tobacco-free policy; how does this policy related to the hospital’s mission? Policy Specifications of the policy – explanation of tobacco products and where the policy is effect (for example: grounds, parking lots, buildings). Procedures and Enforcement Provide information how this policy affects patients, visitors, employees and how they are expectations for compliance. Also spell out methods for enforcement, such as who is responsible. Sample hospital policies can be found at www.MaineTobaccoFreeHospitalNetwork.org/hospital_policies
Policy Adoption and Support Educate key stakeholders on the purpose of a tobacco-free campus policy, their support is vital to the adoption and success of the policy. Once a policy and action plan have been developed, present to the hospital’s board of directors for their approval and support.
New Hospital Support Kit The goal of the hospital support kit is to provide hospitals with free resources and materials to make it as simple as possible to move towards and/or implement a 100% tobacco-free policy. As we continue to go through the steps of policy implementation, we will highlight some of the tools found in the new support kit. All materials can be found at www.MaineTobaccoFreeHospitalNetwork.org/resources
Communication The majority of patients, visitors and staff will adhere to a policy if they are aware of it – so consistent, positive communication is key! Once your policy is approved it is important to educate hospital staff and community members that your hospital will be going tobacco-free. It is important to start this communication 6-12 months prior to the date the policy is effective.
Communication Tools: MTFHN Support Kit Hospital Policy Handbill Frequently Asked Questions for Staff Press Release Newsletter Article Letters to Patients, Providers and Neighbors
Communication: FAQs and Handbill Many employees may have questions about the policy and how it effects them – providing them with responses to common questions can reduce confusion and increase compliance. A handbill that explains the decision to go tobacco-free and makes everyone aware of quitting resources, such as the Maine Tobacco HelpLine, can be placed in waiting rooms and lobbies to educate visitors about your decision.
Communication: Media Announcements Press Release Share your news with your community – send a press release to local media partners about your decision to go tobacco-free. Staff Newsletter Announcement Staff newsletters provide a great opportunity to educate employees about the reasons you have chosen to go tobacco-free and when they can expect that change to happen.
Communication: Letters to Patients It is important to make patients aware of your decision to be a tobacco-free hospital. A reminder about your tobacco-free campus policy could be included in pre-admission mailings and admission packets. Sharing information with patients provides you with the opportunity to educate them about supports for quitting while they are in the hospital and beyond. Informing the patient through these means, also educates visitors that will be accompanying them about the policy.
Communication: Letter to Providers Along with staff, medical providers are great ambassadors for your hospital. Make them aware that you are updating your tobacco policy so they can assist in preparing patients for their stay at a tobacco-free facility. Your policy can provide positive messaging for providers who are talking with their patients about quitting. As role model for health, your policy may provide motivation for those contemplating quitting.
Communication: Letter to Neighbors A 100% tobacco-free policy requires those who wish to use tobacco products to leave the campus. It is important to educate those occupying buildings that abut hospital property about your policy change. Through your policy you are not encouraging people who smoke to go onto these neighboring properties – it is important for these community partners to be aware of the policy and know who they can contact if a problem occurs.
Enforcement Remember: Successful enforcement of the policy requires effective communication, and is dependent upon the consideration, thoughtfulness, and cooperation of everyone.
Enforcement Tools: MTFHN Support Kit Model Tobacco-Free Area Signage Signs should communicate a brief and simple message For your convenience MTFHN has developed sample signage Palm Card Enforcement Tool A reminder card can aid staff, such as security, when they meet someone who is not complying
Other Policy Implementation Tips Be positive vs. punitive for patients and visitors. Instead of reprimanding tobacco users who violate your policy, use constructive language to inform users of the policy, and encourage them to seek out appropriate quit resources that your hospital may offer. For employees, sub-contactors and vendors be clear about the policy, expectations and follow through. Remove outdoor ashtrays – having these by entrances may cause confusion about the policy. Make nicotine replacement products available. After you implement the policy, continue to monitor your campus. Identify the areas where cigarette butts continue to accumulate and increase signage and coverage in these areas.
Gold Star Standards of Excellence1. The hospital campus is tobacco and/or smoke-free. Tobacco use by staff, patients, and visitors is prohibited at all times in and on the hospital’s property including parking lots, in cars, and at satellite sites. (“Tobacco-free” includes smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, cigars, pipes, etc.).2. Written policies and procedures that communicate and reinforce such policies on tobacco exist and are reviewed at least annually and as needed.3. Appropriate signage is posted at key locations including entrances to the grounds and buildings.4. Information about tobacco use and treatment, secondhand smoke, and local and statewide resources are readily available to patients, staff, and visitors.5. Advertising or promotion of tobacco products is not allowed on the hospital’s campus or satellite facilities. This includes hospital publications and magazines subscribed to by the hospital for their waiting rooms.6. All off-site meetings, conferences, and fundraisers are tobacco-free.7. Clinical services are available for any patient needing/desiring assistance for nicotine withdrawal symptoms and/or quitting, including evidence-based medications.8. The hospital supports education and training on tobacco use and treatment for employees.9. Tobacco treatment services are available for employees. For insured employees and dependents, benefits include coverage of counseling and medication therapy for quitting tobacco, with minimal, or no, barriers to utilization (co-pays, out of pocket costs, limits).10. The hospital refuses all donations from the tobacco industry, and divests itself of all tobacco company stock.
Gold Star Standards Awards Applications being accepted now through February 23rd for our annual awards. Hospitals that meet at least 6 Standards are encouraged to apply and be recognized! Applications are available on www.MaineTobaccoFreeHospitalNetwork.org 2011 Gold Star Standards of Excellence Awards Ceremony will be held: March 24th at 10am at the Maine Hospital Association, Augusta
For More InformationMaine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network www.MaineTobaccoFreeHospitalNetwork.org (207)874-8774 firstname.lastname@example.org MTFHN Presentations can be viewed online at: www.slideshare.net/breatheeasy