NHS bans smoking at north-east hospitals
One of the world’s largest cancer research charities has backed a move by NHS Grampian to extinguish smoking on their premises.
NHS Grampian plans to ban smoking on their sites by March next year, in line with national tobacco policy.
But health bosses in the north-east are already phasing it in with Chalmers Hospital in Banff due to go smoke-free next month, followed by facilities at Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
Gregor McNie, public affairs manager for Scotland at Cancer Research UK, said: “Patients shouldn’t be exposed to cancer-causing second-hand smoke at the very place they’ve gone to get well.
“But it’s hard for patients to go cold turkey and they should be offered support to quit smoking while in hospital.”
Blue posters and leaflets bearing the slogan ‘We care about your fresh air’ will advise patients and visitors of the new rules and outline the dangers of second hand smoke.
Patients will be able to ask ward staff for replacement nicotine products.
George Rutten, NHS Grampian’s public health co-ordinator for Banff and Buchan, said: “Plan your visit to the hospital by bringing a nicotine replacement product, such as gum or a patch, to help reduce cravings.”
Fraserburgh Hospital’s senior charge nurse Rosemary Johnston added: “Patients who stay over in hospital will not be allowed to smoke at all anywhere on the hospital site. That includes the outside areas.
“We encourage patients to give up smoking. However if you can’t go without smoking and don’t want to give up, you can ask ward staff for a nicotine replacement product to help reduce cravings.”
The move follows a successful ban at Turriff Hospital earlier this year and also extends to the use of e-cigarettes.
One visitor to Peterhead Community Hospital told the Press and Journal that he had no problem with patients smoking outside.
Roderick Allan, whose father previously smoked, said: “I’m not a smoker myself but I know how hard it can be to stop.
“It would seem harsh to ask smokers to move further away from the buildings particularly when it’s raining.”
Chalmers Hospital will be smoke-free from Monday, September 1 with the bans at Fraserburgh and Peterhead coming into force in October and November respectively.
All designated smoking areas will be removed by those dates respectively.
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