Cwm Taf champions offer support to youngsters to help them quit smoking

Did you know we have 85 No Smoking Champions which are located in most wards and departments throughout the health board?
Staff Nurses Katie Holloway, 25 and Rebecca Jade Smith, 24 are two of the health board’s no smoking champions and are based on the paediatric unit at Prince Charles Hospital. 
Smoking behaviour often starts in adolescence and affects health in later life. Some of the unit’s adolescent patients and/or their parents smoke. As two of the health board’s no smoking champions, Katie and Rebecca are able to support their patients and visitors who wish to quit smoking.
All champions have received training to increase their skills, knowledge and confidence in implementing the smoking cessation bundle and providing smoking cessation advice. The knowledge gained from the training is being passed on to other members of staff who can also promote the importance of quitting smoking and more training is being planned for early 2016 for the new champion ‘recruits’.
Rebecca said: “The training outlined how smoking affects the wider family, which is so important in paediatric nursing.”
Working on a paediatric unit means that staff have to approach the parents of children on the ward to ask whether they smoke. Children whose parents or siblings smoke may become smokers themselves or be exposed to second hand smoke in the car or home.
The key messages given to parents surround the facts that smoking is detrimental to a child’s health, growth and wellbeing, and it can also worsen conditions such as asthma and serious respiratory infections.
If the parents are smokers, Katie and Rebecca will offer advice on how to quit smoking and provide details on nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and the free NHS smoking cessation services available.
For patients who smoke and wish to quit, cessation advice is tailored according to age and in accordance with the smoking cessation bundle.
Katie said: “Through the implementation of the smoking cessation bundle, we are able to support in-patients who smoke and can provide support on discharge, by generating either a fax referral or e-referral to smoking cessation services such as Stop Smoking Wales or the community pharmacy scheme.”
The paediatric unit is well equipped with smoking cessation folders which are full of information such as contact numbers and useful websites.  Posters are also displayed illustrating the toxins in tobacco and the effects of second hand smoke.
Katie and Rebecca are enthusiastic about their roles and actively encourage patients and parents to access the free cessation services available.
All 48 staff of Ward 31 are non smokers and they work tirelessly to ensure that their patients and their parents receive the best advice possible about quitting smoking. Ward 31 is a good place to nip the habit in the bud.
For more information about the role of, and training available for no smoking champions, please contactAlison.Lindley2@wales.nhs.uk or 01685 351444.
Did you know that ….
Second hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals. Over 60 can cause cancer.
Almost 85% of tobacco smoke is invisible.
Second hand smoke is particularly dangerous for children. Children exposed to passive smoke are at higher risk of respiratory infections, asthma, bacterial meningitis and cot death.
Second hand smoke can cause other health problems too, including heart disease, stroke and breathing problems.
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