Smoke Free WA Health – information for staff, contractors and volunteers

All WA Health owned and leased premises and grounds are completely smoke free *, including:

  • hospitals
  • community health centres
  • office buildings
  • car parks
  • vehicles.

Visitors, patients, staff, contractors and volunteers are not permitted to smoke on any WA Health owned or leased buildings, grounds or vehicles.

Signage is displayed at prominent sites around health services to inform visitors, patients, staff, contractors and volunteers that we are smoke free.

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.

* Involuntary mental health inpatients over the age of 18 years may be exempted from specific aspects of the Smoke Free WA Health System Policy in certain circumstances. See more information about mental health exemptions.

Why go smoke free?

There is no safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, also known as second hand smoke. Medical evidence has confirmed that tobacco smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke are causes of diseases including stroke, cancer, and bronchitis, and can worsen the effects of asthma.

The smoke free policy is not intended to stop people smoking but rather to protect others from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

Smoking by staff members is not permitted on any WA Health premises.

Smoking is only allowed during designated breaks, outside of WA Health grounds. Breach of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with the WA Health misconduct and discipline policy (and local guidelines where applicable).

Brief Advice Training for WA Health staff

Staff are encouraged to achieve competency in delivering smoking cessation brief advice.

Brief Advice Training – Health Services (external site) is a self- paced, 30-minute online package for WA Health staff.

The training was originally developed by Quit Victoria and Alfred Health, in partnership with health services in Victoria. It has been contextualised for use in WA in collaboration with Cancer Council WA and the Department of Health, and aims to equip WA Health staff with the skills, confidence and knowledge to provide smoking cessation brief advice to patients.

Helping staff to quit smoking

Health services provide a level of support that is determined by the circumstances of the health service and its pharmacy. Generally, health services will provide staff who smoke with a single course of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). At the discretion of each health service further NRT support may also be available.

In addition, points of referral for ongoing cessation support will be given to those accessing NRT treatment.

Read the guidelines for assisting nicotine dependent staff.

Non-compliance with the Smoke Free policy by staff

Staff who do not comply with the policy will initially be counselled. Compliance issues are handled just as would other misconduct or breach of any other WA Health policy or condition of employment. Line managers and supervisors must ensure that the policy is adhered to consistently by all staff.

Non-compliance with the policy by visitors

Non-compliance with the policy by visitors should be dealt with in an educative and non-confrontational manner. If this approach fails, the matter can then be referred to relevant management or security.

Enforcing the smoke free policy

Respectful enforcement of the policy is everyone’s responsibility. The issue should be addressed in a non-confrontational manner, and people informed that we are smoke free and that people can only smoke off-site.

Patients who smoke

Patients are assessed on admission for nicotine dependence and may be offered nicotine replacement therapy to manage cravings and other physical effects of nicotine withdrawal during their stay at hospital.

Staff are trained to assess current smokers and provide support to patients with quitting and controlling nicotine cravings during their stay in hospital.

Staff are not permitted to assist patients to leave WA Health premises to smoke.

Home visits

Patients who receive care at home are not permitted to smoke in the company of WA Health staff.

Produced by

Public Health