Scotland’s biggest health board has decided to allow people to smoke e-cigarettes on hospital grounds.
E-cigarettes can now be used on NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) grounds by patients, visitors and staff, in a bid to further cut smoking rates.
The newly updated smokefree policy ensures a consistent position about the use of e-cigarettes on hospital grounds and the e-cigarette friendly approach of smoking cessation services.
While they can now be used on grounds, e-cigarettes still can’t be used in buildings. Use is allowed anywhere on the grounds, however people are being asked not to use them outside entrances and exits.
It’s hoped that the new policy will help change the behaviour of a small hardcore of people who continue to smoke on hospital grounds and especially around hospital entrances.
Dr Emilia Crighton, Director of Public Health, NHSGGC, said: “Tobacco is still the most common preventable cause of death in Scotland with smoking to blame for around a quarter of all deaths.
“We’re now allowing e-cigarettes on our grounds to give our patients, staff and visitors more choice in how they quit smoking.
“We have seen the percentage of people who smoke fall from 37.5 per cent to 25 per cent over the last 10 years. I believe allowing e-cigarette use is the next tool in that fight and it will play a role in reducing that figure even more.
“Our smokefree services are designed to help people identify an approach that works for them. Over the last five years, more than 150,000 people have used our Smokefree Services and this method can be used to manage nicotine withdrawal while smokers work towards quitting altogether.”
Smokers who want to quit can visit www.nhsggc.org.uk/smokefreeservices and book directly into a local service using their handy postcode search facility; call Smokeline on 0800 84 84 84 for information; walk into any pharmacy for support; or find them on twitter and facebook by searching for ‘smokefree services’.