The current Tobacco Law 28/2005, with its subsequent amendments, banned smoking inside healthcare centres. Later, this ban was extended to include the entire healthcare environment, including outdoor areas. This was an important step towards denormalizing tobacco use. However, one of the consequences of this improvement is that large numbers of people now congregate to smoke at the entrances to healthcare centres. This means that environmental tobacco smoke can enter these buildings, and tobacco consumption is highly visible at the entrances to the centres with cigarette butts left on the ground, which does not help the image of hospitals as places that promote health.
The “Let’s push tobacco away” campaign was designed to create a smoke-free area around the entrances to healthcare centres, thus moving tobacco consumption away from the buildings and making it less visible. The ultimate goal is to raise public awareness about the importance of giving up smoking. At the same time, the aim is to reinforce the role played by the healthcare professionals working in these centres as promoters of health.
As part of this campaign, perimeters will be marked out on the ground around the entrances to healthcare centres in order to indicate the designated no-smoking areas. Moving tobacco consumption away from the entrances to hospitals will lead to improvements such as:
- The promotion of a tobacco-free culture in the healthcare field, reducing the visibility of people smoking (professionals, patients and visitors).
- The avoidance of environmental tobacco smoke pollution inside buildings and in nearby outdoor areas.
- A reduction in the maintenance and cleaning costs that result from the smoke and the collection of cigarette butts.
- Progress towards becoming model organizations in terms of tobacco control and the promotion of health.
Several hospitals have already started to implement the campaign, either partially or totally, in their areas. These include: the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, the Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, the Hospital del Mar, the Hospital de Figueres, the Fundació Hospital de Palamós, the Fundació Althaia, the Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Reus, the Hospital Benito Menni CASM, and the Hospital Duran i Reynals.
Smoke-free Week is an initiative promoted by different sectors of society. Through various activities and initiatives, it aims to raise public awareness about the importance of giving up smoking.
The “Let’s push tobacco away” campaign was launched by the Catalan Network of Smoke-free Hospitals, coordinated by the Catalan Institute of Oncology in collaboration with the Catalan Government’s Public Health Agency.
The Catalan Network of Smoke-free Hospitals
The Catalan Network of Smoke-free Hospitals was created in 1999 and is coordinated and promoted by the Catalan Institute of Oncology. Membership of this Network is voluntary. The aim is to encourage organizational changes that promote smoke-free healthcare institutions. Since 2004, the Network has been funded by the Catalan Government’s Department of Health. Thanks to this support, in recent years an increasing number of centres have joined the Network. At present, it is made up of 88 hospitals, most of which are healthcare centres that belong to the Catalan public health system (SISCAT).