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Hospital to get tough on smoking in grounds

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By Fiona Reid
Hospital to get tough on smoking in grounds

SMOKERS are set to be moved away from the front of Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary as health bosses get tough on the habit.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway this week revealed it is taking steps to enforce its smoke free grounds policy, which first came into force in 2015.
Four years on there are concerns that patients and visitors continue to smoke outside the hospital, despite extensive signage.
And a spokesman for the health board explained this is due to a lack of enforcement measures included in their own policy.
He said: “This is currently not an offence. So although staff can challenge smokers, they therefore have no powers to insist that smokers move away from the entrances or extinguish their cigarette.
“However, this could be about to change.”
The health board is looking at the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc and Care) (Scotland) Act, which will make it an offence to smoke within 15 metres of the building from 2020.
In advance of that, the spokesman said: “The board is taking steps now to move smokers away from the building and ultimately from the site as a whole, rather than waiting until the legislation is in place. “This will prove challenging without any legal recourse, however the board feels it is important to act.”
They have also set up a Short Life Working Group, to dissuade people from smoking on health sites and to support people in smoking cessation, and further enlisted school children to design awareness posters.
He added: “The introduction of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc and Care) (Scotland) Act and the 15 metre exclusion zones will help address the issue of smoking on NHS sites, and we can confirm that the board will actively utilise all the opportunities that this Act brings to deliver significant improvements to the hospital grounds and entrances.”

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