Fines for smoking outside hospitals become law

Updated on September 6, 2022

New legislation prohibits smoking in the exterior areas of healthcare facilities.

Scotland has recently implemented a restriction on smoking within 15 metres of hospitals.

No longer may smokers light up within 15 feet of Scottish hospitals.

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Smoking within 15 metres of a Scottish hospital carries a maximum fine of £1,000.

As of this coming Monday, the requirements will be mandatory throughout all NHS hospitals providing patient treatment and care.

The rule change is the latest initiative in the Scottish

government’s effort to eliminate tobacco use throughout the country by the year 2034. A voluntary smoke-free policy was implemented in hospitals in 2015.

There will be a range of penalties for the new infraction, from a £50 fixed penalty notice to a maximum punishment of £1,000 if the matter goes to court.

The rule prohibits smoking in all areas of NHS hospitals used for patient treatment and care, including those with overhanging structures.

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Sheila Duffy of Ash Scotland had anticipated that this would stop cigarette smoke from being pulled indoors through cracks in windows, doors, and air ducts.

She stated on Good Morning Scotland on BBC Radio: “It affects the circulatory system, the respiratory system, and the goal of the patients’ stay in the hospital—their recovery.

 

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“This step is being taken to ensure that hospitalised neonates and patients are exposed to the healthiest possible environment during their stays.

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“This stuff is extremely dangerous. It can be avoided, and it should not be, and it poses a threat to patients in healthcare facilities.”

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She is optimistic that monetary penalties would motivate individuals to alter their behaviour.

She firmly believed that resorting to fines would be a sign of failure. With the indoor limits in place, it is imperative that the public comprehend and adhere to this.

Maree Todd, minister of public health, said “The public at large is aware of the negative health impacts of smoking, and it is only fair that hospital patients be shielded from secondhand smoke.

“Dedicated stop-smoking services and early intervention initiatives to prevent youth from picking up the habit completely will be bolstered by this new law, which is the next step in our ambitious aim to become Scotland tobacco-free by 2034.

“Anyone interested in quitting should call the NHS QuitYourWay Helpline or visit their neighbourhood pharmacy to learn about the various options available.”

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