A new ban for Lincolnshire hospitals will stop staff, patients and visitors from smoking on hospital grounds in 2020.
From 6 January 2020, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) will no longer provide designated smoking areas.
This will affect sites at Lincoln, Boston, Grantham and Louth.
‘Many of the people who use our services are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of second hand smoke,’ Stephen Kelly, ULHT’s occupational health service business manager, said.
‘We recognise that smoking is a personal choice and we do not discriminate against those who choose to do so.
‘However we are a health-promoting organisation.
‘We are committed to protecting and improving the health and wellbeing of all employees, patients and visitors.’
Support for Lincolnshire hospitals’ smoking ban
Lincolnshire hospitals undertook a four-month consultation on the implications of going smoke free, prior to launching the ban.
Feedback showed 56% of respondents believed Lincolnshire hospitals should introduce a smoking ban.
The move brings ULHT in line with NICE guidelines stating all hospitals should be 100% smoke free.
‘Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in the UK,’ Mr Kelly continued.
‘Exposure to second-hand smoke can also cause disease and premature death among non-smokers.
‘Even brief exposure can cause immediate harm.
‘Being completely smoke free reflects our commitment and responsibility for improving health and wellbeing.’
That’s according to research from Philip Morris, US tobacco giant, which has been looking at the decline of smoking access in the UK.
Its figures also show that Wokingham and York are next in line to be smoke free, by 2026.
‘These figures suggest some parts of the country will stop selling cigarettes altogether,’ Mark MacGregor, director at Philip Morris, said.
‘The rate of smokers is coming down quickly.
‘We’re planning for a future without cigarettes.’