East-Tallinn Central Hospital to go smoke-free from 1 September

1. August 2011

Starting on 1 September 2011, East Tallinn Central Hospital is launching a series of reforms designed to promote health, contribute to the well-being of its staff and patients and protect and improve the internal and external environment of the hospital.

 As such, the hospital will become a smoke-free zone, prohibiting the use of all tobacco products (including chewing tobacco) on the premises. This blanket ban will apply to everyone at the hospital – patients, business operators and staff alike.

Sally Maripuu, director of Working Environment Services at the hospital, says that banning smoking everywhere on the premises sends out a strategic message to people to think not only about their own health, but also that of their colleagues, and to set an example for patients. “As an institution that promotes good health, we support and motivate people trying to quit smoking,” she said.

The hospital currently offers an advisory service to those looking to kick the habit, employing three counsellors in this area. Patients are referred to the service by their GP or a doctor at the hospital free of charge. “There are different approaches to giving up smoking, from patches to special courses,” explained Krista Tutt, one of the hospital’s counsellors. “Our counselling sessions are designed to come up with the best solution for each person individually.”

In implementing the new measures, East Tallinn Central Hospital joins a number of other Estonian health institutions that have restricted the use of tobacco products on their premises with the aim of promoting better health.