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2015 Archive

 

NHSG/30/15

Smoking on NHS grounds is drawing to a close 

In tune with the rest of the NHS in Scotland, all healthcare sites and grounds throughout NHS Grampian will be smoke-free by the end of March 2015. 

From then, staff, patients and visitors are asked to wait until they are off NHS grounds before lighting up.   Smoking shelters will also be removed from hospital grounds.

Tobacco Control Coordinator, Derek Petrie said:  "This will improve the health of the population in Grampian. People who smoke are asked to use a safe, medically regulated form of nicotine while visiting or working our sites.   Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products are cheaper than cigarettes and are freely available in community pharmacies and supermarkets.

"We realise that for regular smokers this may be a challenge, but it's important to see the policy in its true context. Smoking kills 13,000 Scots every year. One thousand of these will be in Grampian where there will be around 5000 smoking related hospital admissions with a potential annual cost of £46 million - that's preventable, so the NHS must lead by example."

This move to achieve smoke-free status in the grounds of every hospital, health centre and NHS building across the country is part of a national drive to create a tobacco free generation within Scotland by 2034. It sounds ambitious but is achievable, 91% of 13 year olds living in Grampian now have never smoked, they will be adults in 2034. Measures like this smoking ban will prevent them from starting and we know exactly how much this will improve health. In each year that we reduce smoking by 1% there will be 46 fewer deaths, 218 fewer hospital admissions and health costs reduce by around 2.1 million.

The national Green Curtain TV and radio campaign has now been launched asking smokers for their help to make this vision a reality.

Staff also have a key role to play in achieving this by supporting patients and colleagues who smoke to access smoking cessation advice and support to either help them quit altogether or at least manage their nicotine use whilst on NHS grounds.

Work to support this initiative has been underway at NHS Grampian for several years:

 

  • A new workplace tobacco policy was written early 2013 to get the Smoke Free  Grounds in consultation with and contributions from the general public and NHS staff, Staffside Partnership and Board members of NHS Grampian.
  • Smoke Free Zone signage has now been fitted at the entrances to all NHS Grampian premises to remind people of the smoke free grounds.
  • Support is offered to anyone admitted to hospital to help them stop smoking. The Smoking Cessation Team continues to adapt their intervention to meet the needs of patients and staff.
  • Aberdeenshire Community Hospitals set the trend for Smoke Free Grounds by starting their roll out from 2013.

 

Mr Petrie added:  "NHS Grampian will maintain its focus, exercising its duty of care and promoting health for those who use and work in its services. That is why the time for smoking on NHS grounds has drawn to a close."