GRH is proud to be a tobacco-free hospital as of April 2013. Patients, visitors and staff are not allowed to smoke anywhere on hospital property; this includes any of the sidewalks on hospital property (until you reach the street), the parking garage and inside your vehicle (when on hospital property).
For advice to quit smoking, please:
- Speak with your care provider if you're a patient;
- Visit our Health Care Centre Pharmacy at the KW Campus if you're a family member or friend of a patient;
- Call the Smokers' Helpline at 1-877-513-1333 or visit the Smokers' Helpline website (opens in a new window).
Johnson & Johnson prepared a video that shows why quitting smoking is so beneficial, especially if you are a patient in a hospital. Please watch the video below:
Staying smoke-free in hospital
Transcript for: Staying smoke-free in hospital
You’re a smoker who’s in hospital. But you can’t smoke in hospital. So that makes today a great day to quit!
Your schedule is different in hospital and your routine smoking habits and cues have changed too.
This is why it’s a great opportunity to quit smoking. And there are lots of reasons to quit.
You’ll save some money, be healthier, and be a great role model for your family.
And did you know that if you can go through a week smoke-free, your odds of successfully quitting go up nine times?
You start getting healthier twenty minutes after your last cigarette. Within 12 hours you’ll get more oxygen, and you’ll have less chance of getting an infection, or being readmitted to hospital. Even cuts heal faster.
Smoking may even be the reason you’re in hospital in the first place. But it’s never too late to quit. But quitting can be tough to do. Your brain likes to smoke. And it doesn’t like to quit. So you might have some uncomfortable feelings when you quit. They won’t last long. But you might feel sad, anxious, have trouble sleeping or be a bit grouchy.
It can be hard to concentrate, and you might be hungry, and perhaps gain some weight. But there is support that can work with your willpower to help you quit.
Nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT, will help you feel better. NRT is a low dose of nicotine that doesn’t include the harmful chemicals in cigarettes. NRT helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms like restlessness, frustration, anxiety and irritability.
It comes in gum, mouth spray, lozenges, inhaler or a patch. The patch is commonly used in hospital as some brands provide a steady dose of nicotine for 24 hours. You can ask for NRT from a doctor, nurse, pharmacist of therapist. They’re there to help.
When you’re getting ready to go home, make sure you ask your health care professional if there is help or support available in your community.
They may be able to connect you with a great program that can assist you in your journey. Ask what brand and dose you’ve been using, so you can continue to use it at home. You’ll need to plan ahead. Let your family and friends know that you’re quitting smoking. They can help. And there’s a hotline too that you can call to talk to a counselor and get further support.
And if you do slip and have a cigarette, don’t give up! One little slip doesn’t have to stop you.
Try to distract yourself with some deep breaths, a glass of water, perhaps some gum, nicotine gum or regular gum, or talking with a friend, seeing a movie or going for a walk. These can all help.
This is a great opportunity for you.
Now’s the time to quit smoking, and then celebrate!
Community Resources for Smoking Cessation
Ask your primary care provider or speak with your pharmacist.
Group Programs in the Waterloo Region
Region of Waterloo Public Health 519-575-4400
Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline 1-877-513-5333
Provides one-to-one telephone support to help you quit smoking and is available 7 days a week
Online quit support 24/7
Smokers’ Helpline at www.smokershelpline.ca
Free, interactive, offers tips, tools and support
St. Mary’s Counselling Service – Tobacco Cessation Programs
A 4-session program that supports an individual to prepare for quitting tobacco
Quit Tobacco Group
A 6-session group that supports members to prepare for quitting tobacco
FREE Nicotine Replacement Therapy Patches
Individuals may be eligible to receive 10 weeks of FREE nicotine replacement therapy patches as part of the STOP study
Call after hours and press 2 to access the Craving Hotline, a recording offering useful coping strategies
For more information about these FREE and confidential services call
519-745-2585 ext. 232.
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The Grand River Regional Cancer Centre's tobacco cessation nurse, Kelly Cronin, was featured in a Cancer Care Ontario video on cancer patients who quit smoking and the benefits it can have for treatment. Please watch the video below:
It's never too late to quit smoking!
Transcript for: It's never too late to quit smoking!
Most people know that smoking is not good for you and if people quit on a dime they would.
[In Ontario, about 1 in 5 new cancer patients smoke cigarettes.]
But the reality is it’s such an addiction and I can't imagine a more stressful time to quit smoking than when you're facing a health crisis. So on one hand you know you need to do it but on the other hand, stress is such a trigger to smoke that people just can't imagine getting through this stress without smoking.
Dr. Bill Evans:
It's very important for patients to recognize that there are a number of health benefits to them if they stop smoking when they get a diagnosis. First, your chances of living longer are greater. The chances of the treatment working is greater. They will have less toxicity from radiation. The risk of getting a second cancer after having treatment for the first one is reduced and the chance of a recurrence from the cancer that's being treated is reduced. So these are really, really important health benefits of stopping smoking.
I acknowledge it's difficult but we can help patients by providing them with supports by counselling and by providing appropriate drugs.
[Mary M. smoked 3 cigarettes a day for 38 years. She never realized the harm a small amount of cigarettes could do.]
[In 2015, Mary was diagnosed with lung cancer.]
I have cancer.
Yes. If I don’t quit, I don't have that much time. So, I wanted to quit because I want to spend more time with my grandkids and my daughters my family a little longer.
[Mary was referred to Kelly for smoking cessation counselling by her cancer care team.]
With Kelly it was... even if I fell back and had a cigarette or a puff or whatever I had you know, she said its ok we'll try again. She completely understands and it's like she tries to push you into, well, if that doesn't work we'll do it this way and if that doesn't work we'll try it another way.
[The best way to quit smoking is using both counselling and medication, which can triple your chance of success.]
I would say five, six times I tried to quit smoking. And one... some of those were going to "quit smoking programs". But none of them worked for me.
[Mary C. is a myeloma survivor.]
In recovery a nurse had said you have to quit smoking. And I said, "Well I can't quit right now because I would just start again. And... she said "well, come up with a date. Think of a date and you stick to it."
[Working with a nurse, Mary set a firm quit date.]
The quit date I picked was April 4th because it was Easter Monday; it was also just before my first grandchild was going to be born and I wanted her to know her nana as a non-smoker.
No I've never had a cigarette... six years... six and a half. April 4th it will be 7.
[You can quit smoking.]
[Talk to your cancer team about services that can help you.]
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