January 18, 2017
This week is National Non-Smoking Week, which is one of the most important events in Canada’s ongoing public education efforts on controlling tobacco use. This week has been observed in Canada during the third week in January for more than 37 years.
In compliance with changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act, LHSC has been a completely smoke-free facility since June 30. The smoke-free policy includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars or pipes containing burning tobacco, or any other substance (such as marijuana) that can be smoked in any other manner. As such, any staff, physicians, patients and visitors wishing to smoke must move off hospital property to do so.
Smoke from tobacco or other products is a proven health hazard and becoming a smoke-free facility was just one important step towards creating a healthier hospital environment.
On an individual level, quitting smoking will provide people with a number of health benefits, including the following:
- Within eight hours your carbon monoxide levels drop and your oxygen levels begin to increase in your blood to normal levels Within 48 hours, your chances of a heart attack decrease and your senses of smell and taste star to improve
- Within 72 hours, bronchial tubes relax, allowing for easier breathing and increased lung capacity
- Within two weeks to three months, circulation improves and your lung functions increase up to 30 per cent
- Within six months, coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath improve
- Within one year, your chances of smoking-related heart attack will be cut in half
- Within 10 years your chances of dying from lung cancer is cut in half
- Within 15 years your chances of dying from a heart attack is equal to non-smokers
For anyone that is thinking about quitting, a number of community-based resources can be found on LHSC’s external smoke-free website.