FROM tomorrow Basingstoke hospital will become a smoke-free zone.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust took the decision to introduce the ban after the father of a newborn complained that his son’s first breaths were tainted by second-hand smoke when leaving Basingstoke hospital.
When news of the ban was announced residents praised the decision from the Trust but said it would only work if it is fully enforced by hospital staff.
The ban will put a stop to smoking from all of the Trusts sites across the county including Andover War Memorial Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester.
The move will help to make sure that patients, visitors and staff are not exposed to cigarette smoke on their way into and out of hospital.
As previously reported in the Gazette TV doctor and former Basingstoke hospital doctor, Dr Hilary Jones backed the campaign.
He said: “Quitting smoking is the single most significant step that people can take to maintain good health.
“It is absolutely right that hospitals, which are kept so busy treating patients suffering from the consequences of smoking, are healthy, clean, healing environments for everyone who visits, and which set an example of the benefits of being smoke-free.
“I welcome Hampshire Hospitals’ refreshing policy on this and have no doubt it will reinforce the positive and supportive messages that its dedicated staff are already sharing with their patients.”
Smoking costs the NHS an estimated £2billion a year, but the cost to society could be as much as £13.8billion each year. It also causes almost 80,000 premature deaths every year and contributes to 1.7million hospital admissions.
The Trust will be providing lots of additional support to help patients, staff and visitors stop smoking as part of the programme, so it is hoped that the initiative will also help to reduce smoking.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Trusts, added: “As a major employer and provider of hospital services to people across Hampshire, we have a responsibility to help reduce smoking and, in turn, the serious illnesses related to it.
“We will be providing lots of additional support to help people stop smoking as part of our smokefree programme, so we hope that this initiative will also help to reduce smoking. We highly recommend the Hampshire stop smoking service, which has helped almost 3,000 Hampshire residents to stop smoking in the last year.”
For people who are looking to quit there will be nicotine replacement products will be available for patients on the wards and can be bought from the outpatient pharmacies at Basingstoke hospital.
More information about Hampshire Hospitals’ smoking policy can be found at www.hampshirehospitals.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/coming-hospital/smoking-policy.
This article originally appeared at the Romsey Advertiser website