New Joint Commission Educational Tool Helps Hospitals Create A Smoke-Free Campus

In recent years, hospitals nationwide have been increasingly adopting campus-wide smoke-free or tobacco-free policies to demonstrate their commitment to public and employee health.

Smoke-free campus

Smoke-free campus

In order to help support these and other organizations aspiring to go smoke-free, The Joint Commission and the Henry Ford Health System have co-authored “Keeping Your Hospital Property Smoke-Free.” This how-to guide offers hospitals and other health care organizations useful strategies for implementing and enforcing a successful smoke-free or tobacco-free policy. The new 28-page educational tool is the product of research conducted with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute. “Keeping Your Hospital Property Smoke-Free” is available for free download on The Joint Commission’s website.

A collaborative survey by the Henry Ford Health System and The Joint Commission, found that 45 percent of hospitals in the U.S. had a smoking ban that covered their entire property in 2008. The survey also found that an additional 15 percent of hospitals were planning to follow suit and adopt a smoke-free campus policy in the future. But once a smoke-free or tobacco-free policy has been enacted, there are very few resources available to support health care organizations as they seek to maintain and enforce their new policies.

The strategies in the educational tool are intended to address what happens after the “big day” has occurred and assist the continuation of smoke-free or tobacco-free campus-wide policy. The educational tool offers research and case study based how-to steps and strategies for going smoke-free including:

– Important considerations before policy implementation
– Getting support from leadership and employees
– Effective communication tactics
– Enforcement tips
– Avoiding common pitfalls

“We have learned a lot from the hospitals that adopted smoke-free campus policies, and we are really excited to share many of their strategies for success. We know, for example, that many hospitals experienced challenges and our hope is that this document will assist hospitals, or any other healthcare setting, considering the implementation of a smoke-free campus policy,” said Joanne Hafner, RN, MS, Associate Project Director in the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission.

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