The Health Directorate has collated the results from an online survey to obtain feedback and insight from SHG managers and staff on the Smoke Free Government Policy which started on 1 July 2018.

One fifth of all staff (21%) completed the survey, including smokers and non-smokers. A majority of respondents believe the policy is a helpful part of what SHG is doing to address smoking-related disease and illness. Headline results show:

  • The majority of respondents have perceived benefits:

 67% believe exposure to second-hand smoke in certain areas had reduced

53% thought more staff who smoke were trying to quit or cut down their smoking

42% felt there was less disruption to working hours by ‘cigarette breaks’

  • Implementation across SHG has overall been good although for some locations and staff groups the policy needs to be applied more strongly

More than 80% of all respondents did not highlight any problem ‘hotspot’ issues or places. The most frequently raised issue was a perception that the policy is not consistently applied by certain teams or parts of sites. Sites included The Castle Terrace, Francis Plain at weekends when used for sporting or other events, and the Post Office steps. The issue of people now smoking in front of certain premises, particularly the Hospital was also highlighted as an area to improve.

  • The large majority (76%) of all respondents want more to be done to reduce smoking-related harm and support quitting

Respondents suggested better policy implementation across all directorates, clearer guidance to managers and staff about the policy, and monitoring enforcement. A popular suggestion was for additional types of quit support. More information to help smokers consider quitting, and guidance on how to support people who are stressed at work or who use services at stressful times, were also suggested. Respondents also recommended measures such as increasing cigarette prices, changing packaging to make smoking less appealing and to encourage people to quit.


Based on the survey results, a number of recommendations have been put forward by the Health Directorate and supported for implementation by the Core Leadership Group. Recommendations include:

  • Measures to strengthen policy implementation
  • SHG Workforce Wellbeing
  • Further develop staff and community Quit support
  • Additional community measures to reduce smoking
  • Mental Health guidance and support

An Action Plan will now be developed.

Notes to Editors

The Smoke Free Government Survey was conducted in January 2019, six months after the start of the policy. The survey was open to all SHG staff.

The survey objectives were to assist in monitoring and supporting policy implementation and to obtain feedback and insight from managers and staff about the policy and how best to reduce the harms of smoking to the workforce and community.

63% of responders were non-managers, 37% were managers. Respondents included staff that smoke and staff that are non-smokers.

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22 February 2019

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470