Chesterfield Royal Hospital imposes smoking ban

Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital has imposed a ban on smoking on its entire site.

The decision has been taken after a consultation with staff, patients and visitors and aims to create a cleaner, clearer and healthier Royal.

A hospital spokesman said: “The message is simple – when you’re on site please don’t light-up a cigarette or use an e-cig.”

Medical director Dr Gail Collins added: “Last year staff, patients and visitors told us that what they hate most about our hospital is experiencing passive smoking at all our entrances – and especially at the main entrance, the birth centre and the emergency department.

“We hope that our new approach will encourage people not to smoke on site and perhaps make the decision to choose a healthier lifestyle – with our help and support.”

As part of the consultation, an online survey found that 60 per cent of 2,000 respondents felt the hospital should do more to ask people not to smoke.

The same number advocated the use of nicotine replacement therapy for patients on wards.

Patients in pyjamas and sitting in wheelchairs smoking in the grounds and gardens was noted as ‘a real concern’.

Simon Clark, of pro-smoking pressure group Forest, criticised the ban.

He said: “Behind this policy is a degree of bullying that is unacceptable in a tolerant society.

“People are no longer educated about the health risks of smoking.

“Today they are patronised, insulted and made to feel like lepers.

“The public health industry is engaged in a campaign of creeping prohibition.

“Banning smoking in the open air, even on hospital grounds, is a step too far.”

Smoking-related diseases are responsible for more than half a million hospital admissions every year, according to Dr Collins.

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