Council backs plans to make hospital a smoke-free site

Date: 
Thursday, 3 August, 2017
Number: 
17-44

Harlow Council has thrown its support behind aspirations to make Princess Alexandra Hospital a smoke-free site. 

The smoke-free team at Princess Alexandra Hospital are engaged in what they hope will be the final consultation phase and are asking the public for their views on becoming smoke free across the site. Although the initiative was introduced a few years ago, with full board backing and support from staff, the team hope to bring this into force by the autumn.

A smoke-free site will mean no smoking will be permitted on the hospital grounds with a four-week engagement exercise launched last week seeking views. The hospital is keen to listen to thoughts of those who live or work near the hospital, patients and families as well as any other members of the public who wish to have their say. 

The Council is keen to help promote this consultation and anyone wanting to share their views can do so through the online survey available at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JP3V6D7, until Monday 14 August, 5pm.

Dr Samir Naik, Respiratory Consultant, PAH said:

“The harmful effect of smoking and second hand smoke is well documented. The proposal to make Princess Alexandra Hospital smoke free is a positive step towards creating a healthier environment on our site for all.”

Princess Alexandra Hospital are seeking to address the ongoing concerns from staff, visitors and patients that smoking close to the main entrance is both unhealthy and unpleasant. Complaints have also been received regarding the amount of litter from discarded cigarette stubs.    

Councillor Ian Beckett, who is the Chair of Harlow’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“It’s ten years since legislation banned smoking inside pubs, restaurants and other public spaces. It seems crazy that you can still step outside any hospital into a fog of second-hand smoke. As a former smoker I know it’s not easy but I also know it’s absolutely the right thing to do. It’s not about restricting rights or choices. It’s about encouraging people to make the right health choices and it’s about the health, social and economic impact on others”.

As well as making the site smoke free, the NHS trust will encourage and support individuals who want to stop smoking by providing support to give up for good.