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|Title:||Supporting visitor compliance with a smoke-free policy at hospital using a nicotine replacement therapy vending machine||Authors:||Giles, Luke ;Bauer, Lyndon||Affliation:||Central Coast Local Health District||Issue Date:||Jun-2020||Source:||32(3):378-382||Journal title:||Health Promotion Journal of Australia||Department:||Health Promotion||Abstract:||ISSUE ADDRESSED: To support visitors to comply with Central Coast Local Health District's (CCLHD) smoke-free hospital grounds policy, a need was identified for round-the-clock availability of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Providing NRT through a vending machine was identified as a possible solution. This initiative complemented other strategies that provide staff and patients who smoke with NRT. METHODS: NRT was originally provided through a snack vending machine, however there were commercial and regulatory concerns with this method. In 2015, dedicated NRT vending machines were installed at Gosford and Wyong Hospitals, and were operated by the Health Promotion Service. The appropriate regulatory permission was gained to supply a specific brand of NRT. Sales and incident data was recorded, and ongoing smoking counts were performed both before and after installation. RESULTS: Two hundred and forty-seven sales of NRT gum were made through the vending machines from early 2017 to late 2019. Smoking counts show that there are very low rates of visitor smoking (<1%) in the approximately 4.5 years pre- and post-installation of dedicated vending machines. There was no statistically significant change in the smoking rate of visitors since the vending machine was installed at Wyong Hospital. CONCLUSIONS: While NRT is generally provided to patients and staff within health settings to support compliance with smoke-free policies, alternatives to smoking for visitors are typically overlooked. A NRT vending machine achieves this. However, because there are few purchases made, the vending machines as currently operating are unlikely to make any significant impact on smoke-free policy compliance at these hospitals. SO WHAT?: While vending machines have limited effectiveness on overall smoke-free policy compliance, this strategy may have applicability to all sectors with smoke free policies, especially those operating 24 hours a day, as a means of providing an alternative to smoking for visitors.||URI:||https://elibrary.cclhd.health.nsw.gov.au/cclhdjspui/handle/1/1792||DOI:||10.1002/hpja.371||Pubmed:||https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32506756/||ISSN:||1036-1073||Publicaton type:||Journal Article||Keywords:||Public Health|
|Appears in Collections:||Public Health / Health Promotion|
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