Taking action on smoking and health
Health charity ASH Scotland has commented on today’s news that most NHS Boards in Scotland will include electronic cigarettes in their smoke-free grounds policy, to be introduced by April.
ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said:
“Given the devastating harm to health caused by tobacco use, we are keen to encourage smokers to try effective ways of quitting which for some people might include advice, nicotine replacement therapy or e-cigarettes.
“There is a clear case for hospital grounds to be free from tobacco use, which is always dangerous.
“However, we are concerned that a blanket ban on e-cigarette use could discourage smokers from trying an alternative that might help them to move away from tobacco.
“A policy to restrict e-cigarette use to designated areas of hospital grounds is something we would support.
“Hospitals might also choose to draw a distinction between devices which look like cigarettes and some newer vaping devices, which look nothing like a traditional tobacco cigarette and so don’t lead to confusion with smoking.
“In addition, e-cigarette use in NHS grounds will doubtless have to be reviewed in future as we expect some types of the devices may be licensed for medicinal use as a nicotine replacement therapy.
“Overall, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the main aim of smoke-free grounds is to put tobacco out of fashion and support people to move away from the most dangerous products and towards longer, healthier lives.”
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.