Public Health Cheshire East in partnership with local NHS Trusts and Heart of Mersey, is launching a new public health campaign to end smoking on hospital premises.
From February 3, 2014 people who use NHS services, visitors and NHS employees, will not be able to smoke in the following NHS trust premises and grounds: The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and East Cheshire NHS Trust.
Heather Grimbaldston director for Public Health Cheshire East said: “Tobacco smoking is the main cause of preventable and premature death in the UK – and the NHS spends £2.7bn a year treating smoking-related illnesses.
“I am delighted that these local NHS Trusts are taking this approach to protect the health of people who use, and work in, their services. The benefits of not smoking during a hospital stay are considerable and include shorter hospital stays, lower drug doses, higher survival rates and fewer complications - to name but a few.
“Allowing smoking within hospital grounds is not supporting people who use NHS services to manage their nicotine dependency and it gives confusing messages. No level of smoking or second hand smoke is safe. The NHS has encouraged people not to smoke on their premises for some time, but the message now is clear: ‘you can’t smoke in these hospital sites’.
“We will support people with their nicotine dependency and encourage people to access specialist support services. Hopefully many people will go on to give up smoking for good and fully realise the health and social benefits of this.”
The move coincides with the publication in late November of public health guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This guidance recommends that all NHS hospitals and clinics take appropriate action to create a safe, smokefree environment for all.
If you would like support to stop smoking, please contact the Cheshire East stop smoking service on 0800 085 8818 or log on to www.stop-smoking-cheshire.co.uk.