Free nicotine patches will be provided to smokers who suffer from withdrawal symptoms at the Queensland's public hospitals. Stephen Robertson, the Health Minister has revealed that the inpatients of all the public hospitals in the country will be provided with the Nicotine Replacement Therapy free of cost, from 1 January 2006.
As many as 3,400 Queenslanders die due to smoking related diseases every year.
Nicotine is capable of creating blood clots in the veins, starving the heart of oxygen, and lowering the resistance of the body to diseases. Nicotine gum or nicotine patches will be offered to patients who want to give up the habit. The doses will depend upon the level of the withdrawal symptoms.
Patients will also be given counseling for quitting smoking. The patients who are discharged from the hospitals will not however be provided with free patches or gum. Smoking is planned to be banned at Queensland Health facilities starting from 1 July 2006.