WHSCT to go ‘smoke free’ in March 2014

The Western Health Trust is to go ‘smoke free’ from next year.

The Trust has revealed plans to become the first ‘smoke free’ Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland on March 12, 2014 - National No Smoking Day.

The Trust’s new Smoke Free Policy will mean that smoking will not be permitted anywhere on its grounds or premises.

This includes buildings, entrances, pavements and car parks.

No smoking will be allowed on site for patients, service users, staff, members of the public and contracted workers.

This is a step further than the previous policy as there will be no shelter where patients can smoke and staff will not be allowed to smoke in their cars on site.

Dr Albert McNeill, Consultant Cardiologist at Altnagelvin Hospital and Co-chair of the Trust’s Smokefree Committee, says: “Smoking on our sites is unfair to those who do not smoke and have no choice but to enter our facilities often past people who are smoking. We also know that smoking is the major contributor to poor health so developing a smoke-free environment will allow us to make a real difference to the health of the local population, something that we are truly passionate about.”

Dr Maura O’Neill, Head of Health Improvement for the Western Trust, adds: “Becoming a smoke free Trust is great news for the West and reinforces the Trust’s position as a health promoting organisation with a responsibility for the health of its patients, staff and visitors.”

If you want to give up smoking, the Western Trust Stop Smoking Service can be contacted on 0800 917 9388.