Countdown to smoke-free NHS premises

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Western Isles Health Board today agreed to launch a one-year countdown to ‘no smoking’ on NHS Western Isles premises and grounds.

This will mean that all premises and grounds owned by NHS Western Isles will be smoke-free by November 30th with ontly certain patients exempt.

The new policy was developed by a Smoking Policy Group, and was approved by the Board’s Area Partnership Forum.

In the meantime, smoking will be permitted only in designated smoking areas.

Information and support will be provided to both staff and patients over the year. The transition period will provide staff with time to access smoking cessation support, should they so wish, and will also give staff and the local community time to become accustomed to the new arrangements.

Smoking is the biggest cause of premature death in the UK and is the biggest cause of ill health in Scotland. It is now estimated to claim over 13,000 lives each year and costs the NHS in Scotland an estimated £200 million per annum. For these reasons NHS Western Isles aims to discharge its public health duties responsibly and will always act to discourage and consequently prevent smoking.

The aim of the Board is to reduce premature mortality and to improve the health of the people of the Western Isles.

Advocating non-smoking is recognised as being one of the most effective ways to achieving these aims. This policy also forms part of the Board’s overall concern for the health, safety and welfare of its staff.