Accidents, including fires and skin injury, caused by cigarettes are a serious danger to residents in long-term care (LTC) facilities. All facilities that permit smoking should have a policy that specifies, among other information, a designated smoking area and the need for smokers to strictly abide by the facility's rules. This article sets forth documentation guidelines by recommending a facility smoking policy, initial and quarterly smoking assessments, a smoking agreement between the facility and the resident, and suggestions for patient care planning documentation for residents who smoke. Residents who are permitted to smoke in LTC facilities can present safety and compliance issues for everyone in the facility. Residents who smoke require specific documentation in their charts, which will help to ensure that the facility follows federal, state and Life Safety Codes, and guidelines related to avoiding accidents. Proper documentation also assists staff in determining the specific needs of the smoking resident.
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