Non-smoking outdoor environments in the health care sector in region Östergötland, Sweden
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Region Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1618
Background and objectives: In January 2016, Region Östergötland introduced a completely non-smoking healthcare area. Tobacco smoking is today the single largest cause of disease and premature death in the western world. It is important to prevent illness and especially to protect children from passive smoking. The aim is that non-smoking outdoor healthcare facilities become role model and provides a total smoke free environment for all: employees, entrepreneurs, patients, visitors and the population. In 2022, the region made an investment for a campaign to chance lifestyle habits and reach better wellbeing. The campaign “Your guide to health” and reinforced earlier work to minimize the expose for smoke and use of tobacco. Methods: The message focuses on the positive potential of non-smoking healthcare facilities outdoors. The organization takes responsibility for promoting health and disease avoidance. Employees in health care take responsibility and show that non-smoking healthcare environments are important. The patient is motivated to change and is offered a tobacco-subsidy aid. Inpatient patients are offered nicotine medicines. Results: It has been a solid job, with many professions involved. Important conclusions have been identified; walking around the hospital environment to detect secret smoking places and extra cleaning if necessary to sweep away cigarette butts. Various campaigns like tobacco-free day and tobacco-free week, news and articles on the hospitals intranet and written information in different languages. Conclusions: Since 2018, there is a law in Sweden against smoking in certain places. As society becomes more smoke-free, compliance with healthcares decision in non-smoking outdoor environments is likely to increase and be respected to a largely extent. Regarding behavioral changes, it is a matter of patience, continuously reminding and work from various arenas to reach a smoke-free outdoor environments in region Östergötland.  
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