Southlake Regional Health Centre is a smoke-free facility. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on Southlake's campus. All staff, patients, and visitors are required to leave Hospital property entirely – including parking lots and formerly designated smoking areas – if they wish to smoke.
As a proud supporter of a smoke-free Ontario, Southlake implemented this program to eliminate the hazardous impacts of smoking for those who work, visit and stay at Southlake's facilities, while simultaneously staying committed to providing high-quality healthcare services.
What this means for Our Patients
For the comfort of in-patients who smoke and cannot do so while receiving care, or for those who would rather not travel off Hospital property to smoke, Southlake offers free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) as part of its in-patient care program. The NRT program is available in several forms including: the patch, gum and lozenge supplements. If you are interested in quitting smoking, let your health care provider know.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has Southlake gone Smoke-Free?
As a provider of high-quality healthcare services, and particularly as a provincially-designated Cancer and Cardiac Centre, Southlake recognizes the importance of not just treating diseases, but preventing them.
We know that we must lead by example! Therefore, Southlake took the initiative to expand smoking restrictions beyond the provincial requirements to ensure a healthy environment and to protect our patients, visitors, staff, physicians, and volunteers from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
Do patients have to leave hospital property to smoke?
Yes. All patients, visitors, staff, physicians, students and volunteers leave the premises if they wish to smoke. Smoking is not permitted anywhere at any time on Hospital property.,
For in-patients who normally smoke, and do not want to leave Hospital property, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can be provided free of charge to help them feel more comfortable.
If a patient declines NRT and wishes to smoke, they will have to leave Hospital property to do so. As with any patient leaving the nursing unit during their stay, those who do so to smoke will have to inform their nurse.
Where can I smoke? What are the boundaries of hospital property?
Hospital property includes all surrounding areas of facilities including: parking lots, roadways and sidewalks, entrance and exit locations, the Medical Arts Building (MAB), Southlake Residential Village and the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre.
Sunnyhill Park is also smoke-free. In support of Southlake's Smoke-Free policy, the Town of Newmarket has designated Sunnyhill Park, south of the Southlake Village as a part of Southlake's smoke-free designated zone. This smoke-free boundary extends to Queen Street in this area, and also includes Grace Street from Roxborough Road to the cul-de-sac west of Prospect Street.
I will be visiting a patient at Southlake, where can I smoke?
All patients, visitors, staff, physicians, and volunteers, wanting to smoke must leave the property to do so.
As an in-patient who smokes, can Southlake help reduce my cravings for a cigarette during my stay?
To help make in-patients more comfortable during their time in the Hospital, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can be provided free of charge. NRT comes in many forms, including the patch, gum, and lozenges.
As an in-patient, can Southlake help me quit smoking during my stay?
In-patients wanting to learn more about quitting smoking can speak to a health care provider about Southlake's Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). To assist in making our patients' stay more comfortable, Nicotine Replacement Therapy will be provided free of charge while in Hospital. As an out-patient, patients can enroll in Southlake's six- week smoking cessation classes or a referral to Smokers' Helpline can be made for follow-up counseling upon discharge.
As an out-patient, am I still eligible for free Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
Unfortunately Southlake can only offer Nicotine Replacement Therapy to patients while they are admitted to a Hospital bed.
Smoking statistics: Did you know…?
Second-Hand Smoking Statistics:
- Each year, more than 1,000 non-smoking Canadians die from second-hand smoke.
- Second-hand smoke causes sore eyes and throat, nasal irritation, headaches, coughing and wheezing, nausea and dizziness.
- Breathing in second-hand smoke can also trigger asthma attacks and increase your chances of getting bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Non-smokers who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke have a higher risk of contracting lung cancer and heart disease. Increased chances of cancer of the sinuses, brain, breast, uterine, cervix, thyroid, as well as leukemia and lymphoma are also noted.
- Last year more than one-half million Canadians quit smoking (513,426 people).
- On average it takes 3.1 attempts before someone quits smoking.
- More than half of Canadians who smoked at one time have now successfully quit smoking.
- Most smokers – men and women – are intending to quit in the next 6 months.
- Within 8 hours of quitting smoking, carbon monoxide levels drop in your body and oxygen levels in your blood increases.
- After 2 days, your sense of smell and taste begin to improve.
- Within 2 weeks to 3 months, your lungs work better making it easier to breathe.
- After 6 months, coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath improve.
- Within 1 year of quitting, your risk of a smoking-related heart attack is reduced by half.
For more information on how to quit smoking, contact the Canadian Smokers' Helpline at 1-877-513-5333.