Harborview Medical Center and UW Medical Center are committed to promote health and wellness in our community. As part of the UW Medicine Health System, both medical centers have adopted a smoke and tobacco-free policy. Our goal is to help people quit using tobacco products, the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
Q: When is the smoke and tobacco-free policy going into effect?
A: May 31, 2011
Q: Where does this policy apply?
A. Tobacco product use is prohibited on all Harborview and UW Medical Center owned and leased premises at any time, including grounds, parking lots, inside any building, in private vehicles parked on premises, or in any company vehicle whether or not that vehicle is on company property.
Q: Who is impacted?
The policy covers all Harborview and UW Medical Center patients, visitors, employees, physicians, volunteers, and anyone else on hospital property.
Q: What does the policy prohibit?
A: All tobacco products are prohibited, including but not limited to cigarettes (including facsimiles such as electronic cigarettes, herbal cigarettes, herbal chew, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco).
Q: Can I smoke to relieve stress when I'm visiting a family member at the hospital?
A: We understand how stressful it can be during a hospital stay; however smoking is not allowed on our campus. We are dedicated to helping people through tough times and will help our visitors comply with the policy as well.
While on our property, the smoke-free policy applies to all patients, visitors and staff. Resources will be available to assist patients and family members in quitting tobacco or remaining smoke-free while they are on campus.
Q: What resources are available to patients, visitors and employees?
A: Patients will be screened for smoking and tobacco use status. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and counseling will be offered to patients who request it, and one day supplies of nicotine replacement therapy products will be available for staff and visitors. Patients will be referred to appropriate community resources at discharge, including the Washington State Quit Line (1.800.QUIT.NOW), an effective, evidence-based tobacco cessation program available to all Washington state residents.
Visitors may purchase nicotine replacement therapy products at the hospital gift shops. Information on smoking cessation programs will also be available.
Q. What if I’m a patient and I want to go outside to smoke?
A. We are a smoke-free institution because it improves the health and safety of our patients. It is important that you stay on your hospital unit in order to minimize your risk for infection. You also need to be able to receive your treatments on time for them to be most effective. Your nurse can work with you to alleviate your withdrawal symptoms using NRT, coffee, a walk around the unit or whatever has worked for you in the past.
Q. How do I get more information?
A. For medical advice, talk to your personal healthcare team. For general questions about the smoke and tobacco-free policy, visit the hospital resource centers or contact:
Harborview Medical Center: Drew Eskridge, 206.744.9585, firstname.lastname@example.org
UW Medical Center: Jane Cardoso, 206.598.8283, email@example.com