Patients helping stamp out smoking across the Westmead Health Precinct

Emphysema patient Bob Habkouk features in the new smoke-free signage in the Westmead Health Precinct.

Have you ever wanted to ask someone to stop smoking because their second-hand smoke is harming you and others?

Ten western Sydney patients have done exactly that – featuring in new smoke-free signage near hospital entrances at Westmead Hospital’s new Central Acute Services Building (CASB).

Glenn Tracy, a recent double lung transplant patient, at Westmead pulmonary rehabilitation. Wishing him all the best in his recovery!

For Glenn Tracy, a respiratory patient who recently underwent a double lung transplant, breathing in second-hand smoke during his trips to Westmead pulmonary rehabilitation can be very dangerous.

“I breathe in passive smoke every time I come to the hospital for my rehab sessions. It’s not an enjoyable experience and should not be something patients need to experience when coming to the hospital for care,” he said.

“I hope that by seeing these signs, smokers realise that their actions affect others.”

Donna Tracy representing her husband, double lung transplant patient Glenn Tracy, at the launch of the new smoke-free signage.

The new signs are a timely reminder ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, with Bob Habkouk, an emphysema patient, believing they will have a stronger impact on smokers.

“Smoke-free signs don’t show how cigarette smoke harms people in real life. These new signs have real stories and faces of people like me who already struggle to breathe.”

Patient consumers Sandra Miller, Bob Habkouk, Laurence Hibbert, and Donna Tracy (wife of Glenn Tracy).

Coralie Wales, WSLHD’s Manager of Community and Consumer Partnerships, said smoking at hospital entrances has long been a concern for the WSLHD Consumer Council.

“Patients at the hospital have experienced this for far too long and that has driven the overwhelming support for this signage,” said Coralie.

“We hope that by sharing the personal stories of already high-risk patients, smokers will think twice before lighting up.”

The development of new smoke-free signage was supported by Westmead Redevelopment and the following teams: WSLHD Respiratory Ambulatory Care Service, WSLHD Community and Consumer Partnership, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Health Promotion Unit, Westmead Cancer Services, Westmead Women’s Health and WSLHD Centre for Population Health.

Left to right: Christine Sausa (Reg Nurse), Abby Liu (Physiotherapist), Winnie Leung (Pulmonary Rehab Physiotherapist), Robert Habkouk (Consumer), Laurence Hibbert (Consumer), Sandra Miller (Consumer), Sarah Ip (Pop Health Program Officer), and Donna Tracy (Consumer).

All hospital grounds in Western Sydney Local Health District are 100% smoke-free. This means visitors, patients, or staff who smoke are not permitted to smoke near entrances.

Thank you for protecting the wellbeing of our patients and community from exposure to harmful second-hand smoke.