Smoke-Free at LHSC

In compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, LHSC is a completely smoke-free facility as of June 30, 2016. This applies to all buildings, grounds, parking lots, and includes smoking in cars.

LHSC is committed to providing a safe, healthy environment for those who receive care, work in or visit our facilities. As health-care providers and promoters of health and wellbeing, we believe in providing a smoke-free environment for our patients.

Patients, families and visitors are not permitted to smoke anywhere in the buildings, on hospital grounds, or in vehicles parked in our parking lots/garages. Please see the maps for details on where the property boundaries exist for our hospital sites.

LHSC's 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.

During your hospital stay, smoking cessation support is available from your health-care team. Nicotine replacement therapy or other medications may be prescribed. Please speak with your health-care provider to determine what supports are available to you.

What if I choose to smoke?

Your health-care team will advise you about your ability to independently and safely leave LHSC to smoke. This status may change during your hospital stay as physical or cognitive abilities change. If your health-care team permits you to leave to smoke, then you will be asked to sign a Smoking Agreement and Waiver to acknowledge any issues that may arise from your decision to leave LHSC to smoke.

Patients who are unable to access the property boundary independently and safely must make arrangements to be accompanied by a friend or family member. Should a medical emergency occur while you are on city property, or while en route outdoors to or from the smoking area, you must call 911 for medical assistance. Patients must notify their health-care team when leaving the hospital property.

Tobacco Enforcement Officers can conduct inspections of public places and workplaces to ensure compliance with the law, respond to complaints about offences and lay charges when necessary. Smoke-Free Ontario Act fines range from $300 to $300,000. While the Smoke-Free Ontario Act does not currently include the use of electronic cigarettes, LHSC's policy does not permit the use of e-cigarettes on hospital property.

Please Note: This policy applies to all of LHSC's properties including the Byron Family Medical Centre, Victoria Family Medical Centre, and 54 Riverview Ave.

Benefits to Quitting

LHSC recommends that you quit smoking and stay smoke-free for 8 weeks before any type of surgery, to reduce your risk of complication and speed healing.

When you decide to quit:

  • Within 8 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 2 weeks to 3 months, circulation improves and your lung functions increase up to 30%
  • Within 6 months, coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath improve
  • Within 1 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

Resources & Support