Smoking cessation advisers will be on hand as from March 8th at all Glasgow's acute hospitals to offer advice and support for patients admitted as an inpatient indicating a desire to stop smoking.
NHS Greater Glasgow's Smoking Cessation Hospital In-Patient Service is being officially launched on No Smoking Day and is another service available to help people who want to quit smoking.
The initiative is being implemented following a successful six-month pilot held at the Southern General Hospital last year when 56 patients expressed a desire to quit.
Four weeks after being discharged, more than half who took part in the pilot had successfully stopped smoking.
The service offers a bed-side consultation from trained, on-site, smoking cessation advisers.
There are three levels of intervention, beginning at admission when patients are asked if they smoke.
Those who are not ready to give up or do not want help, are given advice about the benefits of quitting and the cessation services available in the community, such as the pharmacy-led "Starting Fresh" scheme.
Patients not ready to stop, but who experience acute withdrawal symptoms during their stay, are prescribed Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) in the form of 16 hour patches, by medical staff, nurse/pharmacist supplementary prescribers, unless otherwise recommended.
The third level kicks in when patients are ready to make a serious attempt to give up, they will be referred to the smoking cessation adviser.
Four weeks after being discharged, more than half had successfully stopped smoking.
Cathy Williamson, an adviser with the new in-patient service, said: "The advisers will try to carry out ward rounds three times a week.
"The first meeting with a patient will be the most intensive, anything from 45 to 90 minutes, time the ward staff are unable to spend with individual patients.
"As well as explaining about NRT, we also discuss coping strategies, warning patients how hard it is going to be for them to abstain once they go home to familiar surroundings.
"We suggest that they change their habits, such as have a shower first thing in the morning instead of a cigarette, remove all the ashtrays from their home, and ask family and friends not to smoke in the same room."
When patients are discharged the hospital adviser arranges telephone support for a further four to six weeks with a local adviser.
Mothers-to-be are told about the Breathe service for pregnant women.
Shirley Hamilton, Senior Health Promotion Officer (Tobacco) Acute and Maternity Services, who manages the new hospital scheme, said:
"This is the biggest health improvement we can promote for patients, giving them the opportunity and the help to change their lifestyle, and reduce their chances of readmission to hospital."
Meanwhile Smoking Concerns and pharmacy staff, in a joint event with Radio Clyde DJs George Bowie and James Pllu, will at the St Enoch Centre on Wednesday between 12 noon and 2pm, promoting Glasgow-wide smoking cessation services.
Notes for Editors
On March 26, 2006, the day that the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 comes into effect, all of NHS Greater Glasgow's premises, buildings and grounds will become smoke-free.
The only exception to this will be for long stay patients, where the hospital can be considered their "home."
Information about smoking cessation groups and other advice is available on our website, Smoking Concerns website, www.smokingconcerns.com; or telephone 0141 201 9825; and by calling the Smokeline on 0800 84 84 84.
Starting Fresh is available in around 200 pharmacies in the city. It is a drop in service where clients can access NRT & brief support from their community pharmacy for up to 12 weeks.
In the UK, 26 per cent of the population smoke, but this figure rises to 28 per cent in Scotland (29 per cent males, 28 per cent females), in Greater Glasgow the figures are 33 per cent, 37 per cent in Glasgow City, and 50-70 per cent in SIP areas (results from GGNHSB Health and Well-Being Survey Nov. 2003).
In Scotland more than13,000 people die every year from tobacco use, the equivalent of 250 a week or 35 a day.
For more information contact Susan Carden, Communications Officer, NHS Greater Glasgow, tel. 0141 201 4429