WA Health is committed to providing a smoke-free environment for all employees, patients, visitors and contractors.
These guidelines provide information on key management, compliance and enforcement considerations to facilitate the effective implementation of OD 0414/13 Smoke Free WA Health System Policy (external site).
All health services are expected to:
- Take all practical measures to identify and implement strategies to control smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke onsite.
- Ensure management and supervisory staff accept responsibility to provide and maintain a smoke-free working environment.
- Inform all employees of their responsibility to adhere to this policy as they would any other whole-of-health policy.
- Fully support employees (or local working groups) tasked with policy implementation and provide resources to ensure a high level of compliance.
- Take responsibility for addressing all complaints relating to implementation or monitoring of the policy on a site-by-site basis. Where necessary, complaints may be referred to Area Health chief executives for resolution and appropriate follow up action.
- Report to the Director General on a 6 monthly basis on compliance with the policy and current and proposed activities to support its implementation.
Communication of the policy
Management of the policy involves appropriate communication and promotion.
The focus of these strategies should be on promoting the benefits of a smoke-free environment to staff, patients and visitors.
Appropriate signage should be prominently displayed. Signs should clearly state that smoking is not permitted in WA Health buildings or grounds.
Health service working parties
Health service sites may elect to convene site-specific working parties to assist with ongoing implementation and monitoring of the policy.
Tasks which working parties could be involved with include:
- local promotion of the policy and resources available to support it
- coordination of staff training
- monitoring policy implementation
- advising the chief executive on areas for improvement and recommendations for achieving better outcomes.
Staff members are not permitted to smoke on any WA Health premises. Smoking is only allowed during designated breaks, outside of WA Health grounds.
Breaches of the Smoke Free WA Health System Policy by staff will be dealt with in line with OD 0562/14 WA Health Misconduct and Discipline Policy (external site) and local guidelines where applicable.
Patient non-compliance should be dealt with in an educative and non-confrontational manner.
Non-compliant patients are to be reminded of the policy and asked to extinguish their cigarette.
Patients requiring assistance to manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms should be assessed and provided with assistance as per Guidelines for the management of nicotine withdrawal and cessation support in nicotine dependent patients.
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other personal vaporisers for delivery of nicotine or other substances are not permitted to be used in any area where smoking is restricted.
Clinical guidelines and procedures for the management of nicotine dependent inpatients (175KB) provide guidance for clinical staff on supporting patients to manage their nicotine dependence while in a smoke-free environment.
Some sites have introduced specific by-laws which provide health services with the ability to fine people for smoking on health services premises.
All health services are encouraged to provide training sessions for staff and supervisors to ensure that the policy is applied in an appropriate and consistent manner.
Tenders and contracts
Tenders and contracts with WA Health stipulate adherence to the policy as a contractual condition. Any breaches of the policy by contractors should be referred to the management of the contracted agency in the first instance.
Where WA Health Services lease out property, for example a cafeteria, the lessee is responsible for ensuring adherence to the policy.
Health services should include this as a condition of on-going leasing and contractual arrangements. Any breaches of the policy by lessees should be referred to the management of the leasing agency in the first instance.
Grievances about the policy or actions associated with the policy should follow established WA Health Grievance Procedure Guidelines.