The Smoke Free Policy is about providing a safe work environment, protecting patients, visitors and staff from tobacco smoke, and providing help for staff and patients to quit smoking. The Policy came to effect as of 1 July 2009.
Download: DHF Smoke Free Policy
Information and Resources
- Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Nicotine Dependent Inpatients
- Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence
- Prescribing Information for Nicotine Replacement Therapy
- Smoking Assessment and Intervention Form
- Smoke Free Brochure for Patients
- Smoke Free Brochure for Aboriginal Patients
- Smoke Free Brochure for Staff
The Tobacco Cessation Framework provides an overall picture and a comprehensive mix of best practice strategies for smoking cessation that are supported by the Department of Health and Families. It is relevant to clinicians, nurses, and allied health professionals working with individuals through to those who work in smoking cessation at the population level.
Download: Tobacco Cessation Framework
The Tobacco Cessation Framework Guidelines have been developed to support the DHF Tobacco Smoking Cessation Support Framework. The document offers guidelines for:
- Professionals who work with individuals, including medical officers, nurses and allied health professionals.
- Professionals who work at the population level, including policy and service development officers.
Download: Tobacco Cessation Framework Guidelines
Feedback about the Smoke Free Policy can be given by email or telephone.
- Email: [click here to send email]
- Tobacco Hotline: 1800 888 564
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the DHF Smoke Free Policy?
As of Wednesday, 1 July 2009, all Department of Health and Families premises became smoke free, including all indoor and outdoor areas on hospital campuses, remote clinics, community health centres and administration premises. This policy applies to all staff, patients, clients and visitors.
When am I required to stop smoking on DHF premises?
You are required to stop smoking on all DHF premises from 1 July 2009.
If you would like assistance to quit, phone the Quitline on 137 848. Your family GP can also assist you to quit smoking and you are able to purchase nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches, gum and inhalers from your local pharmacist.
Contact the relevant telephone number below to enquire about smoking cessation courses in your region.
Darwin and Darwin Remote
8922 7702; 8922 6902; 8922 7718
Central Australia/ Barkly
Why go smoke free?
Smoking is still a major cause of ill health in the Northern Territory. Between 1989 and 1995, nearly 20% of adult deaths (15 years and over) and 3% of hospital admissions for people aged 15 years and older were directly attributed to smoking in the Northern Territory.
Hospitals are a key site in which to identify and provide cessation support to people who smoke tobacco. Supports include brief interventions, assessment, cessation programs and referral to cessation agencies. Going smoke-free also helps to demonstrate to patients the serious impact smoking has on their health.
Because smoking also puts a person at much higher than normal risk of serious complications during and after surgery, and can prolong the healing process, it is timely to promote smoking cessation to people who are to undergo surgery.
Stopping smoking in the workplace has also been found to be effective in protecting workers from exposure to second hand tobacco smoke, of which there is no safe level of exposure. It also reduces the amount people smoke each day and increases the chance that smokers will quit successfully.
Are there any exemptions to the Smoke Free Policy?
Yes. All NT hospital sites can develop up to two outdoor designated smoking areas for patients only.
The individual circumstances of the hospital will determine the implementation of these outdoor designated smoking areas.
Hospitals with smoking areas include:
- · Alice Springs Hospital; and
- · Katherine Hospital.
Hospitals with no smoking area include:
- Royal Darwin Hospital;
- Gove Hospital; and
- Tennant Creek Hospital.
What does this mean for patients?
All DHF patients can expect a smoke-free environment when accessing services from DHF staff. This includes arrival and exit areas at the service.
Patients who still smoke can access designated outdoor smoking areas in hospitals where available.
Inpatients who are smokers will be offered medications to assist them to abstain from smoking during their stay in hospital.
What does this mean for staff?
All DHF staff members have the right to work in a smoke-free environment, whether on DHF premises or in the community setting.
Staff who are on official duty and are exposed to another person's tobacco smoke can ask the person to extinguish their cigarette (cigar or pipe) or ask them to move away. If a client or patient refuses to comply with the smoke-free policy the staff member can cease service and return at the next practical time.
Staff members who smoke can do so only in official breaks. The staff member must leave the worksite to smoke. This applies to staff members who work in a community setting.
What if a visitor does not comply with the Smoke Free Policy?
Compliance guidelines to the policy have been developed. The DHF encourages an educative compliance regime.