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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 1:30 PM

A Tobacco Free Detox. It Can Happen. It Should Happen. It Has Happened

Dannie Steeves, BEd, MEd(Cand), Tobacco Intervention, Capital Health Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services, 300 Pleasent Street, Dartmouth, NS B2Y2Z6, Canada


To determine the effect going 100% tobacco free had on the length of stay and admission rates in a drug detoxification unit.

When Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services in the Capital Health District (pop 390,000) announced they were closing the “smoke room” in their detox unit on Dec 31, 2002 and implementing a 100% tobacco free policy many thought it would be the beginning of the end for the service. “No one will come if they can't smoke and if they do, no one will stay if they can't smoke” was a common belief.


Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services undertook a detailed client case file review for the 12 months pre policy and the 12 months post policy to track admission rates and patient's length of stay. (2687 files)


Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services demonstrated that the rate of self referral and length of stay in the detox unit was not significantly different in the 12 months post policy when compared too the 12 months pre policy.

A 100% tobacco free environment protects staff and patients from the known harm of tobacco smoke. It provides some patients with their first “break” from tobacco use in many years. This inspires a confidence in some that living tobacco free is a goal that can be achieved. A 100% tobacco free policy is not a barrier to service.

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