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‘Stub it out’. That’s the message to smokers as all NHS sites across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire begin their nine month countdown to become completely smoke free

From Tuesday 1 January 2019 all NHS sites and services across Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will be smoke free.

The announcement is being made 9 months ahead of the implementation date to ensure widespread awareness and provide time for those who do smoke to prepare for the change.

This means that staff, patients and visitors (including contractors and suppliers) will no longer be able to smoke anywhere on NHS sites, including the grounds and gardens or in vehicles and car parks. The decision is in line with The Health Act (2006) and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE 2013) guidelines which state that all hospital sites, including mental health hospitals, and sites where NHS services are provided, should be 100% smoke free.

Across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire all NHS providers are committed to no tobacco use on site and providing support to staff and patients to either give up smoking or manage their nicotine dependency while at work or during their stay in hospital.

Some of the measures that will be used to ensure staff, patients and visitors are aware of the policy change include new on-site signage; messages in patient letters, training for all frontline staff to help patients stop or abstain from smoking and events to promote the new policy.

Watch this space for more information.

If you want to give up smoking a range of information and support is available here.