East London hospitals become ‘no smoking’ zones with ‘cigarette patrols’


Smoking - Credit: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

Tobacco patrols have been brought into the Royal London and Mile End hospitals which have been declared total “no smoking” zones. The smoking ban starting today includes doorways and even car parks.

Royal London in Whitechapel

Royal London in Whitechapel - Credit: Archant

All patients, visitors and staff are no longer allowed to puff away or even use electronic cigarettes anywhere on the premises at all the hospitals run by Bart’s Health NHS Trust across the City and east London, which also include St Bartholemew’s, Newham and Whipps Cross.

Officers from Tower Hamlets Council have been brought in by the trust “to help patrol” the Royal London and Mile End.

Anyone spotted smoking is being asked to put the cigarette out—or leave the premises.

“Being in hospital is an ideal opportunity to help people to stop smoking,” Barts trust public health director Dr Ian Basnett said.

Even in the open... hospital car-park smoking ban

Even in the open... hospital car-park smoking ban - Credit: Barts Trust

“Smokers experience immediate health improvements when they give it up, which also ensures a healthier environment for everyone.”

Hospital staff are recording each patient’s smoking ‘status’, offering addicts nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, medication, inhalers and nasal spray. Smokers are also being given help to quit with drop-in clinics.