Every year, on the 31st May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners around the world mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
This year, the theme of World No Tobacco Day is Tobacco and Heart Disease – tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Ireland with almost 6,000 people dying each year from tobacco related diseases. Smoking related deaths are mainly due to cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease.
Every hour someone in Ireland suffers a stroke. Every day hundreds of Irish people are diagnosed with heart disease. In 2018, heart disease remains the most common cause of death in Ireland. It is currently the cause of one third of all deaths and one in five premature deaths. Approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular diseases (Irish Heart Foundation, 2018). In a society where 22% of people currently smoke (18% daily and 4% occasionally), tobacco use is a major contributing factor to the prevalence of heart disease in Ireland.
CUH provides a range of cardiac services ranging from intensive surgical interventions to cardiac rehabilitation. While these treatments are hugely important and necessary, preventing the occurrence of heart disease in the first instance has to be a priority for all healthcare services, including acute settings.
In 2013 it was estimated that over 200,000 hospital episodes were as direct result of tobacco with an annual cost to the health service estimated to be over €460 million (€171 million due to inpatient admissions). Each inpatient admission due to tobacco use costs the health service almost €5, 500 (ICF Report, 2016).
CUH, being a large acute healthcare facility in the centre of a large residential are recognises that it has a role to play in creating a healthier community. The introduction of the Tobacco Free Campus policy in 2010 is a step towards further denormalising tobacco use for future generations and underlines the importance of treating tobacco dependence as healthcare issue as we would any other life threatening disease.
CUH has an active Tobacco Free Campus Committee which aims to treat tobacco dependence as a healthcare issue within the hospital. CUH actively communicates a clear message to ALL staff and service users that tobacco and e cigarette use is strictly prohibited both indoors and on hospital grounds; systematically diagnoses tobacco addiction; actively supports tobacco users to suspend smoking while in hospital; supports staff training in Brief Interventions for Smoking Cessation and continually monitors and improves policy implementation.
CUH is committed to routinely identifying and treating tobacco dependence amongst patients that use the hospital. Free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available to all inpatients as well as support from dedicated smoking cessation counsellors and hospital staff. The hospital is also committed to supporting staff in abstaining from smoking during working hours or, if they choose, to support them with smoking cessation. Free nicotine replacement products are available to staff as well as support from the hospital's Smoking Cessation Service. To contact the CUH Smoking Cessation Service please call 021 4922280 or 0871219633 or visit www.quit.iewww.facebook.com/HSEquit for further support and information on quitting.