Consultation launched ion smoking outside of hospitals

A consultation on the introduction of a legally enforceable no-smoking area around hospital buildings has launched by the Scottish government.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick has revealed that the consultation paper asks for views on the specific details required to extend the existing indoor smoking ban to a set distance outside hospital buildings.

The Scottish Parliament has passed legislation to establish no-smoking areas outside hospital buildings and to make it an offence to smoke there. But, yet to be decided are: the distance which will form the perimeter of the no-smoking areas outside a hospital building; the wording of no-smoking notices and how they’re displayed; and whether there are any specific areas of land or buildings on hospital grounds where there is no need for a no-smoking area.

The consultation will also ask for opinions on the use of Nicotine Vapour Products (NVPs) – including electronic cigarettes – on hospital grounds but out of no-smoking areas.

FitzPatrick said: “The smoke-free grounds policy has had some impact but has not been sufficient to end the practice of smoking around hospitals. Smoking remains the most significant cause of ill health in Scotland  - leading to up to 100,000 hospitalisations per year and more than 9,000 premature deaths. Our hospitals need to be seen as accessible, open places which promote good health and lifestyle choices. Every aspect of life there should reflect that.”

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