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Smoking signage gets a fresh new look

30.11.17

 

Visitors to our sites this week will notice eye-catching new signs requesting that patients refrain from smoking on our sites, including in the grounds.

The fresh new look features staff members and their family from our hospitals directly addressing the public with messages including ‘please don’t smoke here’ and ‘we want fresh air’. This signage has been targeted at ‘hotspots’ around the sites where we know that smokers do gather.

The new signs were financed with the help of Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity and are part of the Trust’s continued commitment to providing a smoke free estate. It is hoped that the new signage might at the very least encourage smokers to think again before they light up.

Chief Executive Deborah Lee explains: “As an NHS organisation, we are absolutely committed to improving the health of local people. Smoking is an important contributory factor in a range of diseases, including heart disease, respiratory disease and a number of cancers.

“A priority for us is to draw attention to the support that is available to help smokers to manage their habit or to quit. Patients at both hospitals can be referred to the Healthy Lifestyles Service (HLS) for support, and can also be prescribed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help them manage their cravings during their hospital stay.”

The UK has made great strides in reducing the harms caused by smoking, the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in England. Nationally, in the last few years, smoking prevalence has substantially reduced; from 20.2% of adults smoking to just 15.5% now, the lowest level since records began. This achievement has been reached through world-leading public health measures. However, over 200 deaths every day in the UK are still caused by smoking.

Deborah Lee continues: “We know that a small but very visible number of patients and visitors continue to ignore the signs asking them to go off site to smoke, and we do receive a number of complaints each month about this.

“I understand that it’s really frustrating and unpleasant for patients to be forced to come through a cloud of smoke on their way into the hospital and we have employed a number of initiatives over the years to help to combat this issue. However, in keeping with hospitals across the country, this continues to be a problem.

“We appeal to smokers to take their cigarettes well away from our buildings and grounds, and hope that they will consider others before they light up.”

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You can get more information on the support available from Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyles Service by calling 0800 122 3788 or visiting the website at www.hlsglos.org.