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01/04/15 09:00

Smoke-free hospital grounds

All grounds tobacco-free from today

From today, all hospital grounds in Scotland will be smoke-free, meaning patients, visitors and staff are asked to leave the grounds before they light up.

The measure, which also applies to the grounds of health centres and other NHS buildings, has been adopted by all NHS boards at the request of the Scottish Government.

It has been introduced as part of Scotland’s efforts to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034 – defined as having less than five per cent of the population who smoke. A national TV, radio and social media campaign was launched last month to raise awareness of the move to smoke-free grounds.

The Scottish Government has also consulted on making it a statutory offence to smoke in hospital grounds, as a possible measure to be included in the forthcoming Public Health Bill.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health, said:

“Smoke-free hospital grounds have been an ambition of this government for a number of years, and I’m pleased that this day has now arrived.

“Hospitals are places where people go for rest, recuperation and recovery, and it’s quite right that they should be smoke-free. I welcome all the hard work that has been put in by NHS boards around the country to lead by example and make this a reality.

“Tobacco remains the biggest cause of preventable death in Scotland, which is why we want to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034. Measures like smoke-free hospital grounds play their part in creating a culture change on tobacco, and discouraging people from taking up the habit in the first place.

“I’d appeal to all patients and visitors to respect the health of others, and wait until you’ve left the grounds before lighting up.”