A SMOKING ban will be rolled out across East Cheshire NHS Trust hospitals from Monday, February 3.

As of next week, visitors, employees and people who use the trust’s services will not be able to smoke on the grounds of the trust’s three hospitals at Knutsford, Macclesfield and Congleton. 

The initiative is being launched by Public Health Cheshire East in a bid to create a ‘safe, smokefree environment’ in hospitals and clinics and will be adopted by four NHS Trusts across Cheshire.

Heather Grimbaldston, director for Public Health Cheshire East, said: “I am delighted that these local NHS Trusts are taking this approach to protect  the health of people who use, and work in, their services.  The benefit of not smoking during a hospital stay are considerable and include shorter hospital stays, lower drug doses, higher survival rates and fewer complications – to name but a few.

“Allowing smoking within hospital grounds is not supporting people who use NHS services to manage their nicotine dependency and it gives confusing messages.  No level of smoking or second hand smoke is safe.

“The NHS has encouraged people not to smoke on their premises for some time, but the message now is clear: ‘you can’t smoke in these hospital sites.’”

The NHS spends £2.7bn a year treating smoking-relating illnesses and tobacco smoking remains the main cause of preventable and premature death in the UK.