End to smoking at home

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 05/10/2012

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A private hospital and rest home in Palmerston North is asking staff, patients and visitors to butt out as it becomes smokefree.

The move is part of a wellness programme MidCentral Public Health Services is helping introduce at the Cook Street Nursing Care Centre.

Cook Street is a privately-owned and family-run 30-bed community hospital and rest home.

Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Winchcombe said the facility's staff were proud to become one of the first private hospital/rest homes in Manawatu to take a smokefree stance.

“We are very happy, very positive about the whole move. It aligns Cook Street with what's happening nationally. It means we are supporting our staff with a whole wellness approach.

"It's part of a holistic approach . . . caring for carers. Ultimately, it means less smoking-related downtime from work, and less financial stress for smokers who have managed to quit."

While none of Cook Street's patients smoke, the hospital is paying for a "small proportion" of its 37 staff to receive nicotine replacement therapy prescriptions, which include patches and gum or lozenges.

The facility aims to be smokefree this month.

A smoking cessation workshop was held and was well-attended by staff and their whanau, management and interested visitors to Cook Street, Ms Winchcombe said.

MidCentral Public Health Services health promoter Julie Beckett said Cook Street could set an example.

“We are confident that given some positive publicity, other aged care facilities will follow suit, putting in place similar programmes that will benefit their residents, staff and whanau."

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