Attitude of hospital visitors towards cigarette smoking inside hospital buildings; one more step towards a "smoke free hospital" in Israel

S. Varsano, S. Shachar, O. Bacal, N. Eldor, G. Hevion, M. Garenkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In order to determine a policy within the hospital restricting smoking we previously surveyed the attitude of the hospital staff towards smoking inside the hospital buildings. In the present survey we examined the attitude of the hospital visitors on the same issue. One hundred and fifty-seven hospital visitors participated in the survey and answered a questionnaire; 93 visitors were smokers, 64 were non-smokers. Eighty-eighth percent of the visitors smoked during their visit, 4 cigarettes on the average, during an average length of stay of 2.8 hours, until completing the questionnaire. Eighty-three percent of the smokers were aware of the law that prohibits smoking in public buildings, and 71% were aware of the signs and advertisements that prohibit smoking in the hospital. Two thirds of the smokers declared that they would have refrained from smoking in the hospital if others around them also refrained from smoking and justified the law that prohibits smoking in public buildings, including hospitals. Sixty-nine percent of the smokers declared that they were willing to cooperate with hospital management in restricting smoking to the hospital grounds outside the hospital buildings, and would accept directives regarding smoking restriction from any hospital personnel. In fact, only 11% of the smokers were requested to stop smoking during their visit. These findings reinforce the results of our pervious survey conducted among the hospital staff and indicates the existence of a paradoxical vicious cycle of behavior among smokers and non-smokers, visitors and staff, in the hospital. On the one hand the smokers do not have the self-obedience necessary to stop smoking while visiting in the hospital, although they are aware of their misdeed. On the other hand the non-smokers lack the confidence that they will obtain the cooperation of the smokers, although the smokers are willing to cooperate. Both groups except someone else to either actively restrict them from smoking or to encourage them to restrict the smokers. Our findings suggest that this "someone else" is the hospital management (and the staff endorsed to implement this directive).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-226, 286
JournalHarefuah
Volume140
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

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