Improving health in WA

Guidelines for the development of Smoke Free WA Health System Policy communication strategies

These guidelines provide information on key communication considerations to facilitate effective implementation of OD 0414/13 Smoke Free WA Health System Policy (external site).

The communication strategy should clearly outline how and why the policy is to be implemented, so that it is understood by staff and the community.

The policy applies to all staff, patients, visitors and contractors and includes a variety of communication strategies appropriate to target different audiences.

1. Staff communication

1.1 Provide staff with access to the policy and associated guidelines.

1.2 Use resources including brochures and signage.

1.3 Include information about the policy on pay slips, emails and communication/message boards.

1.4 Include stories about the policy in stakeholder publications, for example, hospital newsletters and local newspapers.

1.5 Refer to the policy in staff recruitment and/or contract renewal, as a condition of employment.

The following statement should be included in all WA Health employment advertisements:
The Department of Health is an equal opportunity employer and is a smoke-free environment across all buildings, grounds and vehicles.

2. Health Service consumer information

Health system

2.1.1 Provide an explanation of the policy and its requirements to consumers on admission and on presenting at emergency department

2.1.2 Develop standardised communication resources including bedside material and on presenting at emergency department

2.1.3 Refer to Guidelines for the management of nicotine withdrawal and cessation support in nicotine dependent patients to ensure that staff have the knowledge and skills to discuss nicotine dependence management.

2.1.4 Provide advice at time of pre-admission consultation.

Public relations

2.2 Place articles within local newspaper(s), or undertake opportunistic public relations activities.

3. Environmental changes

Smoking areas

3.1 All existing smoking areas should be abolished.

Smoke-free signage

Smoke-free signage is an important means of communicating the policy. Proper signage maintains a consistent message across the WA health system.

3.2.1 Signage should be placed strategically at:

  • the main entrance to the site
  • every entrance and exit to the building
  • any previously-designated smoking areas
  • lifts and stairwells
  • all courtyards and places of congregation
  • within all vehicles that are the property of the health service.

3.2.2 Signage should remain visible at all times and be well-maintained. All graffiti should be attended to regularly and damaged or removed signage should be replaced immediately.

3.2.3 Two signs have been developed for use by the Western Australian Country Health Services (WACHS) and metropolitan health services. These are:

  • No smoking beyond this point
  • No smoking anywhere on grounds

The use of these signs will ensure consistency across WA Health. Learn more about Smoke Free WA signage requirements and production.

More information

  • Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate
    Tobacco Policy Section
    Phone: 9222 6800
    Email: CDPD@health.wa.gov.au
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