Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

NHS outside smoking ban signalled

NHS Grampian plans to stub out smoking outside its buildings

NHS Grampian has taken a step towards banning smoking in all its grounds with the launch of a consultation.

Smoking has already been prohibited inside hospital buildings.

The consultation on extending the ban to all grounds will include staff, patients, visitors and local community groups.

Tobacco control co-ordinator Derek Petrie said: "NHS Grampian's aim is to improve the health of everyone in the north east."

He said: "Tobacco smoking is an addictive habit, which causes disability, disease and death, and represents the single largest preventable cause of ill health and mortality in Scotland.

"Tobacco smoke in the environment is now also proven to be a cause of ill health and death for non-smokers.

"NHS Grampian has a responsibility under British and European employment legislation to maintain a safe and healthy working environment."

Mr Petrie added: "Our consultation will welcome suggestions on how NHS Grampian can raise awareness of the revised tobacco policy, any potential problems in implementing the smoking ban, and which measures we can use to help smokers follow the policy."

NHS Grampian said its draft tobacco policy did not not involve on-the-spot fines.

The consultation paper and a questionnaire will be distributed, and will be also on the NHS Grampian website.

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