Blanket smoking ban to be discussed by Cardiff and Vale Health Board tomorrow
2:00pm Monday 2nd September 2013 in Penarth news
A FULL smoking ban on health sites in the Vale of Glamorgan, and Cardiff, could be agreed by the local health board this week.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board will discuss a proposal to introduce a ban at all its sites at a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday September 3).
If agreed, a formal action plan will be developed which is likely to include removing smoking shelters, the introduction of protocol to support smokers in hospital, the banning of e-cigarettes in hospital premises, and the recruitment of a smoking enforcement officer to support increased patrols by Cardiff Council litter teams.
October 1 has been identified as the date from which the ban would come into force.
Dr Sharon Hopkins, director of public health for the health board, said the UHB had a role to advocate healthy living, and that the proposals built on work started 18 months ago.
“We approved a policy which was always a phased approach to a full ban as we appreciated the importance of working with the public and staff to make sure it was a success,” she said.
“This next phase will further support our efforts under our smoking cessation programme.”
Dr Hopkins said that there is already a ban on staff smoking on UHB sites with visitors only allowed to smoke in designated shelters but the presence of smoking shelters and the ambiguity around a partial ban had limited the effect on reducing smoking.
Full bans have already been in place in other Welsh health boards but Dr Hopkins said introducing the ban would not be easy and patients and the public would have to be supportive.
She said: “The majority of public and patients have supported this work but it is more difficult for hardened smokers.
Dr Hopkins said that any patient coming to hospital receives support to cope with existing addictions and the same would be true for smokers.
She said smokers would be given support from the health board’s smoking cessation service and could be prescribed with nicotine replacement patches to help them cope during their stay.
“It fits with Welsh Government policy direction, which is to decrease smoker numbers by 2020 and is looking to a formal legal ban in all health care settings,” she added.
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