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Smoke- and Tobacco-Free Policy: Frequently Asked Questions for Our Patients and Visitors

Proud to be smoke-free, for your health; UW Hospital and Clinics, UW Health Clinics and American Family Children's HospitalNotice to our patients and visitors:
 
UW Hospital and Clinics is 100 percent smoke-free and tobacco-free on all surrounding grounds and facilities owned, leased or operated by UW Hospital and Clinics.
 
The newly expanded smoke-free and tobacco-free zone, coordinated with the revised UW-Madison campus policy, extends to cover all UW Health clinical locations, including UW Hospital and Clinics, American Family Children's Hospital, the UW Carbone Cancer Center and all UW Health clinics. The smoke-free and tobacco-free zone also includes UW health science campus areas, including the UW Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Nursing and Pharmacy, as well as the Waisman Center.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q. Why are you going 100 percent smoke-free and tobacco-free?
 
A. Smoking and second-hand smoke is widely recognized as the single most important cause of preventable human disease, including lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. UW Health and the UW health sciences schools have a responsibility to implement a policy that promotes a healthy environment for all patients, visitors, employees, students and medical trainees.
 
Q. To whom does this policy apply?
 
A. The smoke-free and tobacco-free policy applies to all employees, patients, visitors, vendors, students, medical residents and faculty on all property and grounds owned, leased or operated by UW Hospital and Clinics. Previously, the smoke-free zone applied to the building interiors and within 25 feet of the building entrances, but the new smoke-free zone (effective April 2008), coordinated with the revised UW-Madison campus policy, extends to cover all UW health science campus areas, including:
  • UW Hospital and Clinics (600 Highland Avenue)
  • American Family Children's Hospital
  • UW Carbone Cancer Center
  • All UW Health Clinics
  • The UW Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Nursing and Pharmacy
  • The Waisman Center
  • All UW Medical Foundation and UW Hospital and Clinics administrative locations

Q. Where can I smoke?

 

A. Use of any tobacco product is prohibited on all surrounding UW Hospital and Clinics grounds, including all facilities owned, leased or operated by UW Hospital and Clinics. The smoke-free and tobacco-free policy extends to cover all UW health science campus areas, including the UW Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Nursing and Pharmacy, as well as the Waisman Center. The policy also applies to all UW Medical Foundation sites and all UW Health clinics and administrative sites.

 

This is a zero-tolerance policy that does not allow smoking or tobacco use on any of the properties listed previously.

 

Q. Are electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) permitted?

 

A. The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited. The FDA does not consider e-cigarettes to be a safe nicotine replacement product or smoking cessation strategy.

 

Q. As a patient, where can I get help to quit smoking?

 

A. To help reduce immediate cravings and urges, nicotine replacement products such as lozenges, gum and patches can be purchased on request at UW Health pharmacies.

 

At the hospital, these products are available at:

  • The Outpatient Pharmacy (E5/230 at UW Hospital) 
  • UW Health-Children's Pharmacy (in the American Family Children's Hospital lobby)
  • Mendota Market (across from the cafeteria on Level 1 of UW Hospital)

There are a variety of resources in the state for smoking cessation, including:

Tobacco Quit Line
Operated by the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (CTRI)

  • Free, confidential help over the telephone 
  • Help to develop a quit plan
  • Information about medications and tips for overcoming cravings
  • Quit Line coaches call during quit attempt if and when desired
  • Available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), seven days a week, 7am-11pm
  • The CTRI's 1-800-QUIT-NOW phone line has helped more than 50,000 Wisconsin residents and has a 91 percent satisfaction rating from callers
  • Please visit the Web site at www.ctri.wisc.edu
At the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (CTRI)
  • Offers intensive in-person quit smoking help, including:
    • Physical examinations (including a lung capacity test) 
    • Medications 
    • Available on Monday evenings 
    • Sliding scale payment
  • Offers free support group sessions twice a week

    e-mail: infoctri@ctri.medicine.wisc.edu
    UW-CTRI Main Office
    1930 Monroe, Suite 200
    Madison, WI 53711
    Phone: (608) 262-8673

Medications 

Talk to your physician about the following products, which require a prescription (typically covered to some degree by health plans):

  • Nicotine inhaler 
  • Nicotine spray 
  • Nicotine patch (if prescribed) 
  • Bupropion (Zyban) 
  • Varenicline (Chantix)

UW Health's on-site pharmacy carries over-the-counter medications (not typically covered by health plans):

  • Nicotine patch 
  • Nicotine gum 
  • Nicotine lozenge

Q. What are you going to do to help patient family members who smoke?

 

A. We understand that the smoke-free and tobacco-free policy is challenging. Resources to help break the nicotine habit include the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (CTRI), which offers phone counseling and free medications at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. The Quit Line has helped more than 50,000 Wisconsin residents and has a 91 percent satisfaction rating from callers.

 

To help reduce immediate cravings and urges, nicotine replacement products - such as lozenges, gum and patches - can be purchased on request at UW Health pharmacies, including the UW Hospital and Clinics Outpatient Pharmacy (E5/230) and UW Health-Children's Pharmacy. They are also available at the hospital's Mendota Market, located across from the cafeteria on Level 1.

 

Q. Where can I buy nicotine replacement products?

 

A. To help reduce immediate cravings and urges, nicotine replacement products such as lozenges, gum and patches can be purchased on request at UW Health pharmacies. E-cigarettes are not an approved nicotine replacement product and are prohibited. At UW Hospital and Clinics, nicotine replacement products can be purchased on request at the UW Health Outpatient Pharmacy (E5/230) and UW Health-Children's Pharmacy.

 

Q. What should I do if I observe someone smoking?

 

A. Please go to the Visitor Information Desk in the main hospital lobby and let them know, or tell a valet staff person or security personnel if they are nearby, and the individual who is smoking will be politely informed of the policy. At UW Health clinics, please alert someone at the reception desk.

 

Q. Are other health care facilities smoke-free?

 

A. Smoking and second-hand smoke is widely recognized as the single most important cause of preventable human disease, including lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. The decision to prohibit smoking is an issue that all U.S. hospitals are facing and are increasingly choosing as a healthy option for their patients, visitors and employees. In fact, 96 percent of Wisconsin hospitals are smoke-free. Meriter Health Systems and St. Mary's Hospital have announced they are also 100 percent smoke-free and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is also evaluating this policy.