The rules around smoking in hospitals in Scotland are changing – here’s what you need to know.
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People will face a £50 fine if caught smoking within 15 metres of hospital buildings, following a change in regulations.
From the 5th of September 2022, an enforceable ban will come into force. This will prohibit smoking within 15 metres of hospital buildings, as part of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005.
NHS Fife will continue to operate a whole of site smoking ban, as before, but these new regulations establish non-smoking areas directly outside hospital buildings.
New signage will erected across NHS Fife’s community hospitals, to highlight the non-smoking areas.
Why the new rules on smoking in hospitals in Scotland is so important
The change in legislations around smoking in hospital grounds in Scotland is designed to help protect the public’s health.
Kay Samson, Deputy Health Promotion Manager at NHS Fife, says: “NHS Fife is a health-promoting organisation and is committed to the provision of a healthy, smoke-free environment for staff, service users and their families or carers by reducing exposure to second-hand smoke.
“Currently we have had ban on smoking on hospital grounds, which has been in place for a number of years, however compliance is low and currently not backed by any enforcement powers. Our current smoking policy is therefore reliant on the goodwill of people not to smoke anywhere on our grounds.”
The new 15m perimeter focuses on the areas of highest foot traffic, where people leave and enter hospital buildings. One of its main aims is to prevent or reduce the risk of second-hand smoke entering the buildings, either through entrances, windows or vents.
It’s important, particularly in light of the health risks from second-hand smoke. The World Health Organisation advises that there is no safe level of exposure to the small particles in cigarette smoke.
How to find help to stop smoking in Scotland
As well as changing the regulations around smoking in hospital grounds, NHS Fife is also focusing on helping those who wish to stop smoking.
Kay explains: “It is important to say NHS Fife is simply restricting where and when people can smoke rather than restricting the choice of whether to smoke or not.
“In addition NHS have made a commitment to making stop smoking support readily available to patients who wish to change their smoking habits or manage their addiction whilst in our care.”
Anyone seeking help to stop smoking can contact Quit Your Way on the free phone number 0800 025 3000.
The rules around smoking in hospital grounds are changing from September 5th 2022. You could face a £50 fine if caught smoking within 15 metres of hospital buildings. Contact email@example.com for more information about the non-smoking perimeter.