Trust bans smoking on hospital grounds

Trust bans smoking on hospital grounds

The Western Health Trust has begun preparations for its ban on people smoking on its grounds.

To coincide with National No Smoking Day, from Wednesday, the Trust will implement its ban and in preparation the smokers' hut at Altnagelvin Hospital has been dismantled.Cardiologist Dr Albert McNeil helped take a sledgehammer to the smokers' refuge.He told UTV: "We are in the business of health provision and smoking is the biggest preventable cause of disease within Northern Ireland, causing about 2,300 deaths a year."That's the equivalent of five jumbo jets and it's incompatible for a health service provider to countenance the ongoing use of one of the biggest causes of preventable disease within the province."Smokers are not happy about the move, with some saying they will continue to have their cigarettes out on the roadside of the hospital.However the trust employs smoking cessation nurses to help people overcome the addiction.Karen Harper explains: "We are not making people go through nicotine withdrawal unless they want to."We are offering nicotine replacement therapy which can help with stopping smoking."While the Western Health Trust is breaking new ground with the move, it's expected other health trusts will follow suit.

© UTV

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