Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) has been smoke-free since January 1, 2011. Smoking is not allowed anywhere on our property, grounds, or parking areas.
Q: Why is Hamilton Health Sciences smoke free?
As an employer/operator, we have a responsibility to ensure compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. As a health-care provider and a community leader, we are also responsible for protecting everyone who visits our hospital from exposure to second-hand smoke. That’s why we implemented a smoke-free environment in January 2011 and why our Security Services staff have been enforcing this policy at all of our sites.
Q: Am I allowed to smoke outdoors on HHS property?
No. As of January 1, 2016, in accordance with legislative and regulatory changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, smoking is now prohibited on all outdoor hospital grounds. This includes, but is not limited to, the inside of all buildings, exterior grounds, parking garages and vehicles.
Q: Can I smoke in my vehicle in the parking areas?
No. Tobacco use is prohibited in all HHS/Standard Parking operated parking areas, both inside and outside of vehicles.
Q: What will happen if I smoke on HHS grounds?
As of June 1, 2016, City of Hamilton Public Health Services’ Enforcement Officers will begin issuing fines for those caught smoking on HHS property. Fines start at $250 per infraction.
Q: If I see someone smoking on hospital property, can I report it?
Yes. Infractions can be reported to HHS Security Services at the site by calling 74444. Complaints can also be directed to Hamilton Public Health Services via its Tobacco Hotline at (905) 540-5566 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Why can't you have smoking huts that are designated outdoor locations?
Smoking and secondhand smoke are known health hazards. As a health care organization, we are committed not just to healing illness, but also to promoting wellness. Allowing smoking on our grounds, even in designated areas, is not consistent with this commitment. We do not want our patients, visitors and employees to be exposed to secondhand smoke while on our sites.
Q: Are staff, patients and visitors expected to quit smoking?
No, people are not mandated to quit smoking. However, we are dedicated to supporting those who want to manage their cravings throughout the day and those who choose to quit smoking.
Q: How will inpatients who smoke be supported while at HHS?
Hamilton Health Sciences has provided training to staff and physicians on smoking cessation treatment and counseling for patients. HHS has also developed a series of cessation programs to empower patients and staff to manage their tobacco addictions. If patients are interested in adopting a smoke-free lifestyle while in hospital and beyond, they can speak with members of their health-care team to discuss ways to achieve this goal.
Q: Where can Nicotine Replacement Therapy products be purchased at HHS?
HHS is making it easier for staff and visitors to manage their cravings or quit smoking by selling nicotine replacement therapy products at a discount. In the outpatient pharmacies, pharmacists will be available to provide consultation on the product that is most appropriate for each individual.
Q: Where is more information available for me to learn about smoking cessation?
More information on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act can be obtained by visiting the Ontario's government's website at https://www.ontario.ca/page/smoke-free-ontario
For free, personalized and non-judgmental support, advice and information please contact Smoker's Helpline:
- Phone: 1-877-513-5333; or
- Visit: www.smokershelpline.ca