Scottish health boards ban smoking on hospital sites

Published: 16-Sep-2022

New laws make smoking within 15m of hospital buildings an offence

Scottish health boards have announced that smoking will be banned within 15m of all hospital buildings.

The Prohibition of Smoking Outside Hospital Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2022 came into effect on 5 September and is being introduced to protect non-smokers from the harm of second-hand tobacco smoke, particularly within NHS healthcare settings, and to ensure the NHS in Scotland is an exemplar in the promotion of good public health.

It will make smoking outside buildings an offence, with offenders facing a fixed penalty notice of £50 or a fine of up to £1,000 if they are taken to court.

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of health charity, ASH Scotland, welcomed the decision, saying: “Extending current legislation to include outdoor areas will have the positive impact of protecting people from the harmful effects of breathing in toxic tobacco smoke through vents, windows, or doorways while they are being treated and recovering in hospital.

“We urge people who smoke or vape to be considerate in remaining outside the 15m perimeter, ensuring hospital patients do not face unnecessary additional risks to their health caused by inhaling harmful substances.

“This is particularly important as Scotland challenges the normalisation of using tobacco and related products, on our journey towards becoming tobacco-free.”

Lynne McNiven, director of public health at NHS Ayrshire & Arran, added: “Like other boards in Scotland, as of 5 September it is an offence to smoke within 15m of an NHS hospital building.

“Anyone found to be smoking within the no smoking perimeter will be asked to stop right away. The no-smoking law will benefit everyone by keeping hospitals free from health-harming hazards.”

And Maree Todd, Public Health Minister for the Scottish Government, said: “Everyone knows that smoking is bad for our health and hospital patients, in particular, should be protected from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

“This new law is the latest step in our bold plan to make Scotland tobacco-free by 2034 – building on our dedicated stop-smoking services and early intervention measures to stop youngsters picking up the habit altogether."

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