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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 13, Issue 5, Pages 266-268
Brief Communication

Smoking Inside Canadian Acute Care Hospitals

Trevor Bardell and Peter M Brown

Department of Surgery, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To assess smoking policies at Canadian acute care hospitals.

METHOD: A questionnaire was designed, piloted and faxed to all acute care hospitals in Canada. The questionnaire was designed to address the following: what is the current policy regarding patient smoking? Are staff and/or visitors allowed to smoke inside the hospital? Is there a separate policy for psychiatric patients? Are smoking cessation products available at the hospital pharmacy? Is the policy governed by regional or municipal legislation?

RESULTS: A total of 852 hospitals were included in the study. Of these, 476 responded to the questionnaire, for an overall response rate of 56%. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents allowed patient smoking inside the hospital. While staff smoking was not allowed inside most hospitals (93%), 32% of hospitals in Quebec allowed staff to smoke inside the building. Thirty per cent of hospitals had a separate policy for psychiatric patients, and 27% of hospitals had provisions for visitor smoking. Sixty-seven per cent of hospitals were able to offer patients smoking cessation products while they were in hospital.

CONCLUSIONS: Many Canadian hospitals continue to allow smoking inside their facilities. There is considerable variation in hospital smoking policies across the country.