In recognition of the adverse consequences of tobacco
use on patient health, the financial burden of smoking
on the health care system, and the role of health services
in the treatment of tobacco users (to enable their cessation
of smoking), the NSW Department of Health has
implemented a number of smoking cessation initiatives
in recent years. Among these are the 1999 NSW Smokefree
Workplace Policy, which requires all area health
service facilities and campuses to become smoke-free,
and the development and release of the Guide for the
Management of Nicotine Dependent Inpatients in 2002.
This article describes the implications of the NSW Smokefree
Workplace Policy on hospitals and discusses the
development and utility of the Guide in the context of
the ongoing challenge of improving care for inpatients
who are dependent on nicotine.