Australian smokers wish their health service offered to help
them quit the habit when they were admitted to hospitals
across the Tasman, Lakes District Hospital staff say.
The Government's smoking-related heath target for 2012 to
2013 was for 95% of hospital patients identified as smokers
to be offered brief advice on how to beat their addiction.
Smokefree Nurse Champion Jeanette Anderson, of the hospital
in Frankton, said international visitors who arrived in the
emergency department mostly supported being asked about their
smoking habits and many found the discussion a refreshing
''A lot of visitors think it's really good what we are doing
here, asking about people's smoking habits and then offering
advice and help with quitting.
''They don't get the same support back home and many of them
welcome the chance to talk to someone about their smoking
Ms Anderson said there appeared to be particularly strong
support from Australian visitors.
''Lots of our Australian patients tell us that they don't get
asked about smoking when they are in a hospital back home.
They think it's an amazing service and wish they had it in
''Asking if they smoke is like taking a blood pressure to us.
A lot of people say they've been thinking about quitting;
it's like they are almost waiting to be asked,'' she said.
Inpatients identified as smokers received support including a
''grab and go'' pack which contained a quit book and card,
which could be completed straightaway to enable a patient to
access nicotine replacement therapy or other smoking
cessation medication on site.
As well as positive feedback from international patients, the
staff at Lakes District Hospital received a gift hamper from
Smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand this year for hitting its
smoking cessation target.