Plan for smoking ban at east London hospitals with fines and exclusions
- Credit: Archant
A total ‘zero tolerance’ ban on smoking is planned anywhere in east London’s six major hospitals.
The ‘smoke-free zone’ would include the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green (pictured), the Royal London in Whitechapel, the Mile End, Newham General in Plaistow, Bart’s in the City and Whips Cross in Leytonstone, if it gets the green light.
The ‘smoke-free zone’ would include the Royal London in Whitechapel, the London Chest in Bethnal Green, the Mile End, Newham General in Plaistow, Bart’s in the City and Whips Cross in Leytonstone, if it gets the green light.
Patients, visitors and hospital and medical staff are being invited to give their opinions on the ban in an online survey by the Barts NHS Trust.
Smoking is the greatest single cause of preventable illness and early death in east London, the trust points out. It contributes to high death rates from cancer, chest and cardiovascular disease.
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So the trust wants to extend the present no-smoking rule and enforce it with on-the-spot fines for anyone dropping cigarette butts and any smokers refusing to stop being ordered to leave.
“Smoking is the major contributor to poor health in east London,” said the trust’s Public Health director Ian Basnett.
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“A strict smoke-free environment will allow us to make a real difference to the health of the population and change people’s lives.”
The proposals also include providing nicotine replacement therapy for patients and supporting them by referral to free NHS ‘stop smoking’ services. All medical and hospital staff are to be asked not to smoke during their shifts.
The online survey runs until August 9, with printed versions available at any of the six hospitals.