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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 23:14 GMT 00:14 UK
Health board to extend smoke ban
A man smoking
Some patients will be exempt from the ban
A health board has decided to extend its no smoking policy to include all its grounds.

NHS Highland said some staff issues had still to be "ironed out" before the expanded ban could be rolled out.

Chairman Garry Coutts said the board could not be seen to be supporting smoking on its property.

He said: "Smoking is the single biggest cause of illness in Highland and we cannot be seen to condone it anywhere on our premises."

He added: "However we accept that there are still issues we have to iron out with staff and we will do this before formally agreeing to introduce a site-wide ban.

"We will also ensure that staff and patients have access to help to give up smoking."

Included in the policy would be an exemption for patients who staff feel are considerably distressed, anxious or vulnerable.

A site-wide ban on smoking has already been introduced by other health boards and already exists in the Argyll and Bute area of NHS Highland.


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