Plea to ban cigs from hospitals

Soccer ball
Soccer ball

NHS Lanarkshire has launched a new appeal aimed at persuading notoriously intransigent smokers to stop smoking at hospital entrances.

While hospital grounds are supposed to be completely no-smoking zones the plea centres on doorways, where (depending on the hospital) significant numbers of people continue to defy the ban.

Hospital chiefs say a survey proves that an overwhelming number of people, both staff and visitors, support the no-smoking policy.

NHS Lanarkshire director of acute services Alan Lawrie said: “This is not about lecturing smokers to stop – we’re well aware that not all are ready to try a quit attempt at this point.

“But what we are saying to them is if you need to smoke, can you please have it away from entrances and off the grounds as taking such a simple step will be greatly welcomed by our staff, patients and the public.

“As our survey has highlighted, a majority of smokers agree that this is a reasonable thing to do and over half of them said they would not smoke on hospital grounds. We’d love it if all smokers were considerate in this way.”

Health boards and local authorities must have policies and measures in place to ensure their grounds are smoke free by April 2015.