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Upstate University Hospital to offer nicotine replacement therapy to visitors

Ellen Abbott
Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse will begin offering nicotine lozenges to smokers who visit the Upstate campus

Smokers who visit Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse will be able to get their nicotine fix while on the no-smoking campus. But they won’t get it through smoking or vaping.

The hospital will begin offering nicotine replacement therapy lozenges to smokers who visit campus, according to Upstate respiratory therapist Theresa Hankin.

“We need to acknowledge that people are under a lot of stress, and they’re going to what is comfortable to them at the time, and we want to keep them comfortable,” said Hankin.

Smokers visiting Upstate can ask for a comfort kit that includes two four milligram nicotine-replacement lozenges. They can ask for more if they are staying for a long period of time at the hospital.

Hankin said this will not only make the air near the hospital smoke and vapor free, but also helps eliminate cigarette butts that clog gutters and are an environmental nuisance around campus. And Hankin admits a side effect may be impetus for people to quit.

“If someone uses a little nicotine replacement and says ‘that helps with cravings, it’s helped with the urge, maybe I can do this’.”

The comfort kits will be offered as part of a 90-day pilot program starting April 20th.