Patient Experience

Patient Experience

The Smoking Cessation Service at St James's Hospital offers behavioural and motivational support for those who want to quit smoking, as well as nicotine replacement therapy and medication. Service users can access the service face-to-face or by telephone.

Everyone’s journey to becoming smoke-free is different, so an initial individual assessment is carried out in consultation with each patient and the level of support and treatment is then agreed upon. With the use of the Smoking Cessation Service, a person is four times more likely to quit smoking.

Stopping smoking is one of the most positive things you can do for your health. It is never too late to start your journey to improved health, wellbeing and quality of life.

  • We support both inpatient and outpatient smokers and staff at St James’s Hospital who want to stop smoking. The service operates Monday to Friday and includes follow up contact for up to one year.

    Your decision to quit smoking could be one of the best decisions of your life. Like you, many smokers are willing to quit, but it isn't easy. You may have tried to quit smoking before and haven't been successful - don't give up! For many smokers, it takes several attempts before they succeed.

  • If you want to attend the Smoking Cessation Service, ask your doctor, nurse or a healthcare professional at St James’s Hospital to refer you to the service, or contact us directly.

  • If you smoke, quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to improve your physical and mental quality of life. It is NEVER too late to quit. Giving up smoking before planned hospital treatment is the most effective thing you can do to speed up your recovery. For both planned and emergency admissions, stopping smoking once you have been admitted can shorten your stay and reduce the risk of complications.

    These are just some benefits:

    • After 20 minutes - Pulse rate returns to normal
    • After 8 hours - Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood reduce by more than half and oxygen levels return to normal
    • After 48 hours - Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris
    • After 48 hours - There is no nicotine in the body. Ability to taste and smell is improved
    • After 72 hours - Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase
    • After 2-12 weeks - Your circulation improves
    • After 3-9 months - Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%
    • After 1 year - Risk of heart disease is about half, compared with a person who is still smoking
    • After 10 years - Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker
    • After 15 years - Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked

    No matter what age you quit smoking, you will:

    • Look and feel better
    • Have fresher breath and cleaner teeth, hair, skin and fingers
    • Have more control of your life
    • Be fitter and have more energy
    • Reduce your risk of illness
    • Reduce the complications of existing illnesses
    • Have a better quality of life
    • Be a good role model for your children or grandchildren
    • Have more money
    • Have a healthier family as they will not be exposed to your second-hand smoke.
  • Addiction is when you feel that you need something in order to be normal, regardless of its harmful effects.  The body also grows to rely on this substance and you need more of it to satisfy the craving for it. This is called tolerance. When you stop using this substance suddenly, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. This is common when giving up smoking.

    Are you addicted? 

    1. Have you ever felt a need to cut down or control your smoking, but found it hard to do so?

    2. Do you ever get annoyed or angry with people who criticise your smoking or tell you that you should give up?

    3. Have you ever felt guilty about your smoking or about something you did while smoking?

    4. Do you smoke within half an hour of waking up?

    If you answer ‘yes’ to 2 or more of the question above then you are addicted.

  • Research has shown that smokers are more likely to suffer complications during and following surgery. By quitting smoking you can improve your safety and reduce the length of time needed for recovery and healing from your operation. This will help you leave hospital sooner and get back to your normal life as quickly as possible.
    Smokers undergoing surgery are advised to quit as far in advance of their surgery as possible, preferably a minimum of 6 weeks. However, stopping smoking at any time prior to surgery is likely to be beneficial.

    There is evidence to suggest that quitting smoking before having surgery:

    • Reduces lung, heart and wound–related complications
    • Decreases wound healing time
    • Improves bone fusion time after fracture repair
    • Reduces length of stay in hospital.
  • More information can be obtained from: 
    • National Smokers’ Quitline 1800 201 203 to experience like-minded people’s stories and share your own.

Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

How to find us

Ambulatory care suite, main hospital

Get Directions