Photo shows extent of smoking outside Glasgow hospital

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A SHOCKING image has revealed that smokers are completely ignoring the NHS’s smokefree policy at a major hospital in Glasgow.

An image showing of bin covered in cigarette butts, which appears to be outside Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, was shared on Twitter yesterday (Tue).

A sign on the bin clearly states: “Smoking is not allowed on NHS grounds.”

Smoking is banned on all NHS Scotland premises and grounds, meaning nobody can smoke outside hospitals, health centres or GP surgeries, or in NHS car parks or gardens.

The image has been shared widely since being posted on Twitter yesterday (Tue), with social media users calling it a “pure joke” and “disrespectful.”

The woman who posted the picture wrote: “QE hospital (aka The Suffering General) today. Pure joke.

Image: Twitter/SouthsideGirrlll

“See that yellow and blue glass at back of photo? That’s the hospital. This is right outside.

Margaret Young replied: “I visited a young woman with lung problem. Supposed to go outside for exercise but she couldn’t breath for smoke.

“Different hospital but exactly the same thing.”

Mike Mitchell said: “Every time I visit it’s the same. Pointless if not enforced.”

Whilst Anne Marie added: “This is mostly from patients that have left the adult wards and came down the stairs, dying but choking for a cigarette.”

However some users disagreed, and believed it was ok for people to smoke outside the hospital.

One user, known mononymously as Ryan, said: “What does it matter? It’s outside the building and away from any patients.”

The NHS’s website states: “The NHS in Scotland is now totally smokefree. That means you can’t smoke outside hospitals, health centres or GP surgeries, or in NHS car parks or gardens.

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “It is disappointing that some people continue to smoke on NHS premises and have not respected our request for them to wait until they are off our grounds before lighting up.

“We are a health promoting organisation which is committed to protecting and improving the health of all employees, patients, visitors and as such smoking on our grounds is just not appropriate.

“Over the past few years we have seen a considerable reduction in the number of people smoking at hospital entrances.

“We would, however, like to thank the very many smokers who are respecting our request to keep our NHS grounds smokefree as we do recognise the effort required from them to refrain from smoking at what can often be a stressful time for them.”

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland said:
“Breathing tobacco smoke is harmful to health, and for that reason hospital doctors have pushed hard to try to make hospital grounds smoke-free.
“This autumn, new measures will be introduced throughout Scotland to create smoke-free perimeters around hospital buildings.
“The aim is to clear tobacco smoke away from windows, vents and doorways, and to extend the protection that indoor smoke-free laws provide.”

The Scottish Government published proposals late last year to introduce legislation to fine those smoking within 15m of hospital buildings.

Anyone who ignores the the ban within the zone will be subject to a £50 fixed fine.

But, if this is not paid the case can be taken to court, with a possible fine of up to £1,000.

The legislation is expected to be in force by late 2017.

 
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