Belfast Trust to Stub Out Smoking

09/02/2016

To mark one month to go before Northern Ireland’s Health and Social are sites go smoke free, Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride and Public Health Agency (PHA) Chief Executive Dr Eddie Rooney have demolished a smoking shelter at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre at the Belfast City Hospital #BelfastTrust which will be replaced by a bike shelter.

From No Smoking Day on 9 March, Health and Social Care facilities and grounds will transform to be smoke free, meaning that smoking will not be allowed on site by staff, patients or visitors. This major step by the health and social care system in Northern Ireland is leading the way, helping to change the culture and highlight where smoking is unacceptable.

Speaking as the smoking shelter was removed from the Cancer Centre site, Dr McBride said: “One in every two people who smoke will die from their habit. By going smoke free, the health service is taking a big step forward in tackling smoking head-on by making its premises healthier environments.

“Smoking not only has a human cost. With one third of cancer deaths, and a significant proportion of coronary heart disease, strokes and circulatory illnesses, caused by smoking, it creates a massive financial burden on the health service in treating preventable smoking-related conditions.

“It is unacceptable for patients, visitors and staff to be subjected to second-hand smoking while on health and social care facilities. By making this move, we hope to both protect people’s health directly and to influence cultural change by creating new norms around smoking in public.

“By creating smoke free environments, supported by stop smoking services, we hope we can take a big step forward in empowering people to quit their habit and live healthier lives.”

Dr Eddie Rooney said: “Stopping smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health. Creating smoke free health and social care environments and providing tailored support for people who want to quit their habit will help in our ambition to protect public health.

“We know that stopping smoking isn’t easy, but help is at hand. There is a wide range of services available to support people who want to quit, and to assist those in hospital who need to tackle their nicotine cravings. We hope that this move across the health service will act as a turning point for many people, including patients, visitors and staff, who will see it as an opportunity to quit their smoking habit.

The purpose of this policy is to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of #BelfastTrust patients, employees and visitors...our staff see how damaging smoking is to patients every day and see how it is killing them, and hurting families....we are doing this because we care.

We encourage you and others to explore our Smoking Cessation support....staff, visitors and members of the public can contact their GP or local Pharmacy for help or go online to: www.want2stop.info