Healthy living

Aboriginal health – information you should know about the no smoking policy in hospitals

Smoking is very harmful for our health

Hospitals have a smoke free policy.

You cannot smoke in the hospital, in the grounds or in the car parks.

If you want to smoke you must leave the hospital grounds. Please do not ask the staff to help you because they are not allowed to.

Drawing of a no smoking sign in front of a hospital

What to do if you are a smoker

Drawing of nurse attending to an Aboriginal patient in hospital

The people looking after you want to make your stay in hospital safe and comfortable.

If you are worried about going without smokes ask an Aboriginal liaison officer, nurse, or doctor about nicotine replacement therapy or NRT.

Drawing of a selection of nicotine patches, lozenges, gums and quit smoking medications

If you are suitable they can give you nicotine patches, lozenges, or gum which can help stop cravings and the other physical feelings of going without smokes.

Good reasons to stop smoking

  • You have a better chance of living longer.
  • You will heal quicker and may be able to leave the hospital sooner.
  • Your breathing will get better.
  • Your blood will circulate better.
  • You will start to feel better.
  • Your body will begin to health the smoking damage.
  • You will reduce your risk of:

Drawing of an Aboriginal family playing football in a park

Going home

When you leave hospital you may choose to start smoking again. Or you might like the way you are starting to feel.

You might like feeling fitter, having more energy, more money, and a better sense of smell and taste. Maybe your family are feeling proud of you.

You might like to stay a quitter.

Drawing of Aboriginal man walking away from two people who are smoking

Giving up smokes for good

You can call Quitline while you are in hospital and they will yarn with you and help you make plans.

When you are back in your community Quitline can still give you help and support. You can talk to a counsellor about how to stay quit. They can also help you find Aboriginal health workers, health services, and quitting groups in your home area.

Quitline is a confidential telephone service. This means you can call Quitline anytime and choose to speak with a professional counsellor.

Quitline counsellors are trained to support people who are cutting down or quitting smoking. Quitline counsellors understand that quitting smoking can be tough, and they will not judge you. They know it can take a few attempts to find the way to quit.

Quitline will keep working with you to find the way to quit that works for you.

Drawing of an Aboriginal family having a barbeque picnic and playing in the park

Where to get help

If you’re thinking about quitting or cutting down on smokes there are a lot of people who could help you.

You can speak to your:

  • doctor or GP
  • local nurse
  • chemist
  • Aboriginal health practitioner
  • AMS health worker
  • tobacco cessation worker
  • other people who have quit
  • family and friends.


Quitline is a confidential telephone service. You can call Quitline and choose to speak with an Aboriginal counsellor. Quitline counsellors are very experienced in helping people stop or reduce their smoking.

Quitline counsellors understand that quitting smoking can be tough, and they will support you to find the way to quit that works for you.

Phone: 13 7848 (13 QUIT) (local call rates from land line only). You can also text 0477 765 007 to receive a call back from a counsellor. Counsellors are available from:

  • Monday to Friday 6am – 7pm
  • Saturday 11.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Sunday closed.


  • If a hospital has a smoke free policy – there are no places on the grounds that you can smoke.
  • Nicotine replacement therapy may help you to quit smoking.
  • Stopping smoking will reduce the risk of infections, blood clots, gangrene, heart attack, cancer, blocked arteries or stroke.

Illustrations by Patrick Bayly


Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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