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Scotland extends hospital smoking ban to include outdoor areas

People found smoking within 15 metres of healthcare settings could be fined up to £1,000 under strengthened Scottish Government legislation

People found smoking within 15 metres of healthcare settings could be fined up to £1,000 under strengthened Scottish Government legislation

Staff, patients and relatives found smoking outside hospitals in Scotland could face a £1,000 fine after a new law came into force last week.

Fixed penalty notices will be issued to people who smoke near hospital buildings

The legislation means anyone found lighting up within 15 metres of a hospital building could face a fixed penalty notice of £50 or a fine of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court .

People found smoking within 15 metres of healthcare settings could be fined up to £1,000 under strengthened Scottish Government legislation

In Scotland, anyone found lighting up within 15 metres of a hospital building could face a fixed penalty notice of £50 or a fine of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court
Picture: iStock

Staff, patients and relatives found smoking outside hospitals in Scotland could face a £1,000 fine after a new law came into force last week.

Fixed penalty notices will be issued to people who smoke near hospital buildings

The legislation means anyone found lighting up within 15 metres of a hospital building could face a fixed penalty notice of £50 or a fine of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court.

The law applies to all NHS hospital settings used for the treatment and care of patients and includes a ban on smoking beneath overhanging structures such as covered entrances and walkways.

It follows a voluntary smoke-free policy introduced at hospitals in 2015 and is the latest step in the Scottish Government’s plan to create a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034.

Scotland’s public health minister Maree Todd said: ‘Everyone knows that smoking is bad for our health and hospital patients in particular should be protected from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.’

The move has been welcomed by health campaigners. Stop smoking charity ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said: ‘Extending current legislation to include outdoor areas will have the impact of protecting people from the harmful effects of breathing in toxic tobacco smoke through vents, windows or doorways while they are being treated or recovering in hospital.

‘We urge people who smoke or vape to be considerate by remaining outside the 15-metre perimeter.’

UK nations attempt to make smoking bans more effective

Smoking has been banned inside hospitals across the UK since 2007 and policies have been introduced in all four nations to bar people from smoking anywhere on hospital grounds.

In Wales it is illegal to smoke on hospital grounds and anyone found breaking the law could face a fine of up to £100.

However, enforcing smoking bans has proved difficult. Some hospitals have been pushing to make their settings truly smoke-free, including offering extra support to stop smoking for patients and service users.

NHS England-backed pilot schemes in the north east and other areas have seen staff offered free access to stop smoking support, including free nicotine replacement therapy and e-cigarettes.


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