QEH executive director Rick Adams stops at an antiseptic hand wash station at the hospital. Guardian file photo
Islanders who end up in hospital aren’t allowed to smoke there, but there is a program available to help them if they want to quit.
Rick Adams, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s executive director, said about 16 per cent of the patients who took part in the program at the QEH and Prince County Hospital in Summerside quit smoking.
“We’re pretty impressed,” he said.
Adams made the remarks after a patient at the QEH recently called for changes to the hospital’s smoking rules. Those rules have been in place since 2009 because of provincial legislation that prohibits smoking on hospital grounds.
Adams said hospitals across the province introduced a program in January 2012 to help patients quit smoking.
That program was based on a model out of Ottawa.
To help patients kick the habit, hospital staff talk to the patients and provide nicotine replacement products like patches, gum and medication at no cost.
Trained counselors are also available to help.
Adams said since January 520 patients took part in the program.
“Obviously it’s voluntarily and it’s taken a lot of effort on their part and we’re just happy to be able to help,” he said.