People will now be able to use e-cigarettes on site at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, it has been announced.
Vaping is now permitted outside the hospital building, away from courtyards, entrances, open doors and windows.
The Royal says the decision, which came into force on Tuesday, comes after advice from Public Health England (PHE) and Derbyshire’s public health department.
Sally Chadwick, nursing lead for policy change at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’ve approached this from a smoking cessation point of view. Whilst the Trust would not encourage vaping as such, given its success in helping people to stop smoking, we are happy to allow it on site for those patients who are using vaping to help them give up cigarettes. The guidance we have had from Public Health England is that it presents a much lower health risk than smoking and is proving useful to help smokers give up cigarettes. So, as long as it is done outside and away from doors and windows, we will now permit their use on site.
“Helping people to quit smoking is a major part of the national and local health agenda and there is a portion of the recently published NHS Long Term Plan that is devoted to prevention, of which smoking cessation will play a major part. We are playing our part in following national guidelines to implement this plan as part of the collective drive towards promoting healthier lifestyle choices.”
Research from PHE suggests vaping is 95 per cent safer than smoking.
On Tuesday an information event was held outside the main entrance to the hospital where people had the opportunity to ask any questions about e-cigarettes.
Ms Chadwick added: “The popularity of e-cigarettes has grown significantly over the past few years and the research carried out by PHE has helped us to clarify our position on them in terms of health promotion.
“E-cigarettes is just one way that people can substitute the harmful effects of smoking. Other nicotine replacement therapies available on our inpatient wards include nicotine patches and we can also make referrals to our local stop smoking service who give ongoing help to patients who wish to give up smoking.”