Representatives from the Smoke-free Campus Committee attended the launch event earlier this month, including (from left to right) Tom So, senior manager, Facilities Maintenance & Operations; Jodi Kortje, director, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine Services; Laurie Cheung, coordinator, Tobacco Reduction, and Andrea Gilliver, interim nursing practice initiatives lead, Professional Practice. Committee co-chairs (not pictured) Dr. Meena Dawar and Dr. Sreeharan Nagendran thank all committee members for dedicated work in helping to make Richmond Hospital smoke- and vape-free.

In celebration of a smoke- and vape-free Richmond Hospital

Richmond Hospital staff, volunteers and physicians celebrated a strengthened, tobacco-free campus campaign with launch event on August 21, 2017 that featured cake, a draw for gift cards, giveaways and helpful tobacco-related resources.

More than 200 staff, patients and visitors attended the launch party to show their collective support for a smoke- and vape-free hospital.

And the prize draw winners are…

  • Mahfuzul Islam
  • Irina Teplitsky
  • Shuping Xu

Updated policy aligns with new provincial legislation

The pre-existing VCH Smoke-free Premises Policy is now supported by the new provincial legislation, which bans smoking AND use of vapour products on hospital grounds, including the parkade.

As a result, practices in treating tobacco use disorder in all nursing units (including Psychiatric Emergency Unit and Mental Health & Substance Use Inpatient Unit (MHSU) were reassessed to meet the requirements of this legislation.

What we heard from patients and staff

To provide additional support to MHSU, staff and patient tobacco surveys were conducted in fall 2016.

Results indicated that staff believed fewer than 60 per cent of patients wanted to reduce their tobacco use. Comparatively – and when asked directly via the survey — 83 per cent of MHSU patients expressed a desire to stop smoking/tobacco use within one to six months.

Helping our patients go smoke-free

The Nurse Initiated Activity (NIA) for nicotine replacement therapy has been approved. It is now available for use by registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses after completing the recommended online course (online Moodle NIA course) AND training on treating tobacco use disorder through their Clinical Nurse Educator or Clinical Resource Nurse.

The following internal and external strategies are in place at Richmond Hospital to promote smoke-free living:

  • Inpatients will be screened for tobacco use by nursing staff to treat tobacco use disorder (goal of 100 per cent).
  • Nicotine replacement therapy will be offered to all tobacco users to treat nicotine withdrawal and for tobacco cessation.
  • New signage has been installed to reflect the new provincial ban of smoking and vaping on property.
  • Walkabouts by administration will be conducted to inform those in non-compliance.
  • A Smoke-free Campus Committee has been established to support the smoke- and vape-free status. There is representation from various departments including Corporate, Security, Nursing, Professional Practice, Facilities Maintenance and Operations, Mental Health and Addictions, Tobacco Reduction and Employee Engagement.

Need help to quit?

BC Smoking Cessation Program

  • FREE nicotine patch, gum, inhaler or lozenge. Visit a local pharmacy with your Care Card.

Transitions Clinic (8100 Granville)

  • FREE stop smoking products with group and one-on-one counselling. 604-244-5486.

VGH Smoking Cessation Clinic

  • FREE counselling with a doctor or nurse trained in helping people quit smoking. 604-875-4800, press 2.


  • FREE support online (, or by phone (1-877-455-2233) or by texting QUITNOW to 654321.

VCH Employee Programs

  • All VCH staff enrolled in extended health benefits are eligible for additional stop smoking medications.
  • VCH Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) offers counselling services 604-872-4929.

Other smoking cessation support programs

  • Contact Tobacco Reduction 604-675-3801 to learn about what’s available in your community.
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