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10 Gold Star Standards

Standards are reviewed annually and updated as necessary to ensure that Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network is encouraging hospitals to meet emerging best practice standards for tobacco-free policies and supporting tobacco-free lifestyles.

2016 Standards

1. Tobacco-Free Policy.  The hospital has a 100% tobacco-free campus policy that prohibits the smoking and use of all tobacco products including cigarettes, electronic smoking devices, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, snus, cigars, pipes and non-FDA approved electronic nicotine delivery systems. Smoking and tobacco use by employees, patients, visitors and contractors is prohibited at all times on the hospital campus, including in parking lots, in vehicles parked on campus, at all satellite sites and at other properties the hospital owns and/or rents. The policy extends to all off-site meetings, conferences and in all hospital vehicles.

2. Thirdhand Smoke Policy.  The hospital has a policy and clearly defined procedures to reduce patient and employee exposure to thirdhand tobacco smoke. Procedures and materials are available for patient and visitor education regarding thirdhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke is the tobacco smoke that lingers on clothing, hair, skin and surfaces after a cigarette or other burning tobacco has been extinguished, and can be harmful to infants, children and non-smoking adults.

3. Policy Communication and Enforcement.  Written policies and procedures exist that detail the hospital’s policy (whether it is 100% tobacco-free or not) including a plan for enforcement and employee expectations. The tobacco-free policy defines staff members or departments that are responsible for enforcing the policy; including non-compliance.

4. Tobacco Advertising.  Advertisement or promotion of tobacco products is prohibited on the hospital’s campus and satellite facilities. This includes hospital publications and magazines subscribed to by the hospital for placement in waiting rooms.

5. Tobacco Prevention & Treatment Education for Patients & Visitors.  Information about tobacco dependence and treatment, secondhand smoke, thirdhand smoke and local/statewide treatment resources are readily available to patients and visitors. For example, brochures about the Maine Tobacco Helpline are displayed in patient or visitor areas, patients are offered a proactive fax referral to the Maine Tobacco Helpline, hospital discharge paperwork includes treatment options and resources, patients are given information on the harmful effects of tobacco use and secondhand/thirdhand smoke and/or information on tobacco treatment methods and where to find resources are available to patients and families.

6. Evidence-Based Tobacco Treatment Training for Staff.  The hospital supports evidence-based tobacco treatment training for staff by offering in-services on tobacco treatment and supports staff financially to attend trainings. Literature and resources are available on-site for staff. Trained staff are available to provide treatment and counseling to tobacco-dependent patients. Requirement: List the number of employees who have been trained to deliver evidence-based tobacco treatment counseling and education and/or the number of tobacco treatment related activities held over the past year.

7. Patient Screening and Assistance for Tobacco Dependence.  All patients admitted to the hospital are screened for tobacco use, tobacco status is documented and patients are offered comprehensive treatment services during their stay, by designated staff. This includes tobacco dependence counseling/education at the bedside, clinical assessment and management for patients experiencing nicotine withdrawal, offering FDA-approved tobacco treatment medications, and referral to counseling post-discharge. Tobacco treatment services are evidence-based, as reflected in the Public Health Service Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, 2008 Update.

8. Tobacco Treatment Benefits.  Tobacco treatment services are a covered benefit in the hospital health insurance package for employees and their dependents. Benefits include coverage for counseling and medication for quitting tobacco, with minimal, or no barriers to utilization (i.e. copays, out of pocket costs, limits).

9. Smoke-Free Community Lodging.  The hospital provides a list of local 100% smoke-free lodging for visiting patients and families in order to make healthy choices regarding their lodging. The list should be easily accessible and reviewed and updated annually.

10. Tobacco Funding and Donations.  The hospital has a written policy stating it refuses all donations from the tobacco industry, and divests itself of all tobacco company stock.

Standards are reviewed annually and updated as necessary to ensure that Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network is encouraging hospitals to meet emerging best practice standards for tobacco-free policies and supporting tobacco-free lifestyles.