Katy Gallagher has announced the rollout of free nicotine replacement therapy for Canberra’s health workforce who, for some reason, resolutely ignore the panic surrounding their addiction/habit.
- ACT Health will provide an initial eight week course of NRT in the form of patches as well as smoking cessation courses and counselling services.
“If a staff member has difficulty quitting smoking within the initial eight weeks, a further eight week course may be obtained at no cost to the individual,” Ms Gallagher said.
The Minister said that it was important to offer support and encouragement to both staff and patients to ensure that the new policy was a success in reducing the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.
ACT Health facilities will also establish one separate designated outdoor smoking area for visitors and healthcare consumers per site, and patients who smoke will also be assisted to manage their nicotine dependence while at the hospital through NRT.
This is in advance of the unsightly and off-message workforce being shunted out of the carparks and into “designated outdoor smoking areas”.