Smoking will be completely banned from the grounds of The Royal Preston and Chorley Hospitals by the end of the month.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the sites, has made the decision to launch the ban to coincide with World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
Smoking has not been permitted inside any public buildings since 2007. From May 31, smoking will no longer be permitted anywhere within the hospitals grounds, either inside or outside the buildings. Designated smoking shelters are being removed, and anyone wishing to smoke will need to leave the premises.
Gail Naylor, the Trust’s nursing and midwifery director, said, “Smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of ill health and premature death in the UK, and we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect patients, visitors and staff from the harm caused by smoking, and exposure to secondary smoke.
“As an NHS organisation, we want to give a simple and unambiguous message that smoking is harmful to health.
“Smoking is an addiction, and we recognise that many people find it difficult to stop smoking, or do not want to quit.
“We’ll be asking every patient about their smoking status when they come to our hospitals for treatment, so we can provide advice and support, including nicotine replacement therapy, to help them stop smoking either temporarily whilst in our care, or as the initial step on the journey to stopping smoking entirely.”
Anyone who is thinking about stopping smoking should contact the Quit Squad Freephone 0800 328 6297. Evidence shows that the quit rate amongst patients who access support from stop smoking services is significantly higher than when you try to stop smoking on your own.