Reid to ban smoking in the NHS
Smoking will be banned throughout the NHS as part of the Government's drive to deliver better public health across the country.
Ministers have decided that the spectacle of nurses, doctors and patients smoking outside many hospitals has to stop.
The White Paper on public health to be published in mid-November will announce the intention of John Reid, the Health Secretary, to order a smoking ban throughout the NHS on all hospital and primary care trust property. Family doctors who are contractors who own their own premises will be invited to follow suit.
The only exception may be long-term treatment centres for the mentally ill, where tobacco may have a calming effect on patients.
This development follows on from the news that NHS Greater Glasgow are drafting their own No Smoking Policy. Lisa Buck, Senior Health Promotion Officer with Smoking Concerns is responsible for writing this document. She said, "This is great news for staff, patients and visitors alike. The dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke are well established. There is no safe level of exposure to these cancer causing fumes, and the evidence is conclusive that they increase the risk of heart disease, lung disease and asthma, not to mention the effects on at risk groups like pregnant women and children. I welcome this announcement, and look forward to the introduction of our new, Glasgow-wide policy in 2005."
However, the campaigners say an NHS ban would not go far enough. They want Mr Reid to announce a workplace ban on smoking across the country to protect workers from the effects of passive smoking, particularly in pubs and restaurants.