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No smoking rule in force at hospital sites across Hampshire

Patients, visitors and staff will no longer be able to smoke at sites run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in Hampshire.

Hospitals throughout the county are becoming smoke-free from today following recommendations from Public Health England and NICE.

Discretion has been exercised in the past, allowing limited smoking in some designated outdoor areas, but from today a total ban is now in place.

Officials say smoking rates are at their lowest levels since records began but remains the single largest cause of preventable death and illness in the UK.

Southern Health’s chief medical officer Dr Karl Marlowe explained:

“It’s taken lot of preparation with staff and our local partners to get us to the point of becoming a fully smoke-free Trust – and we thank everyone involved in getting us to this stage.

“Reducing smoking rates is a vital element of building a healthier society and NHS staff should not ‘facilitate harm’. Many people are in hospital because of smoking-related illness, and if they continue to smoke it’s likely they’ll take longer to recover.”

“Importantly, as part of our smoke-free commitment, patients and staff will be given the tools and support they need to help them stop smoking.

“People who are admitted to our hospitals will have the option to temporarily stop smoking during their stay, or to make a quit attempt with support from a trained member of staff.

“For both options, we will provide nicotine replacement products to help with the cravings for a cigarette, so no-one is forced to experience the effects of nicotine withdrawal.”

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