Smoking on hospital grounds has remained prevalent on the Government’s tobacco control agenda in recent times. The aim from both the government and Public Health England (PHE) is to make all hospitals smoke-free. There are many initiatives in place to ensure this happens. One of which is to target smokers who are admitted to hospital and giving them support to help them quit. Another suggestion is to utilise and embrace vaping, which some hospitals, but not all, are choosing to do.

One of the latest hospitals to adopt the initiative and act on the advice made in the Tobacco Control Plan is Chesterfield Royal. Vaping is now allowed on the grounds of the hospital but only outside and away from entrances and courtyards. The policy change comes amid advice from both PHE and Derbyshire’s Public Health Department.

The Nursing Lead for Policy Change, Sally Chadwick said:

“We’ve approached this from a smoking cessation point of view. Whilst the Trust would not encourage vaping as such, given its success in helping people to stop smoking, we are happy to allow it on site for those patients who are using vaping to help them give up cigarettes. The guidance we have had from Public Health England is that it presents a much lower health risk than smoking and is proving useful to help smokers give up cigarettes. So, as long as it is done outside and away from doors and windows, we will now permit their use on site.

“Helping people to quit smoking is a major part of the national and local health agenda and there is a portion of the recently published NHS Long Term Plan that is devoted to prevention, of which smoking cessation will play a major part. We are playing our part in following national guidelines to implement this plan as part of the collective drive towards promoting healthier lifestyle choices.”

Whilst Sally Chadwick may still seem slightly reserved on vaping, it’s refreshing to see her acting on the guidance given by PHE. Chesterfield Royal also held an information event outside the main entrance to help educate people on vaping. This gave attendees the chance to ask questions and find out more, an important exercise considering the current misinformation which is so prevalent in the media.

Unfortunately for many establishments, the message on vaping still isn’t getting through. This is particularly poignant with mental health trusts, as a third of institutes still ban vaping. However, things are looking up and heading in the right direction so we look forward to more hospitals adopting sensible vaping policies.

Do you think vaping should be allowed on hospital grounds? Let us know in the comments.