Smoking and Vaping Should Be Allowed Outdoors On All NHS Sites Says Pressure Group
In a bid to get what they call a lack of ‘compassion towards smokers’ lifted pro smoking group Forest wants to see vaping allowed on all NHS hospital grounds.
Over recent times smoking has been banned completely on pretty much all outside areas of hospitals and NHS properties with the original ‘smoking shelters’ changed to vaping only.
As it stands now FOREST – the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking – has found 55% of NHS Trusts do not allow vaping on their grounds – even outdoors, with only 11% allowing vaping indoors and those are mostly on mental health wards.
And they say schemes where a member of the public or staff can press a button near a smoker on hospital grounds – which gives a warning of the dangers of lit tobacco – as nothing more than ‘shame-a-smoker buttons’ lol.
Forest says it’s simply calling for a “greater freedom for patients, visitors and staff who want to smoke cigarettes at hospitals.”
Allow Smoking Outside On All NHS Sites?
The charity gleaned the information from Freedom of Information requests sent to 200 NHS trusts in England, 170 of which provided a response.
The report also found:
Around 45 percent said they allowed e-cigarettes to be used outside in 2018 and 11 percent of trusts, mainly specialising in mental health, permitted vaping indoors.
However 14 percent said they were planning to amend their policies in 2019 to allow vaping outside buildings, in shelters or in wards.
Simon Clark, director of Forest said:
We welcome the fact that some trusts are reviewing their policies on the use of e-cigarettes, but adopting a more sensible approach to vaping shouldn’t come at the price of a complete ban on smoking.
Banning smoking on hospital grounds demonstrates a staggering lack of compassion for smokers who may be stressed, upset and in need of a comforting cigarette.
A reasonable policy would lift restrictions on vaping, but give those who prefer to smoke the option of sheltered smoking areas.
The call from Forest matched both Public Health England guidelines on vaping on NHS property and the Royal College of Physicians – an issue I covered in the article: All NHS Sites Should Become Vape Friendly Says Royal College of Physicians.
Whilst I’m pro-choice when it comes to smoking I really don’t think Forest are onto a winner with this one.
Sure I’d like to see all vape bans lifted on NHS sites – but a return of smoking given the current climate is I’m sure a big ‘No No’ for the UK Government.
Bonus points for trying though… 😉
Read the full report from Forest: Majority of NHS trusts still prohibit vaping on hospital grounds