Ipswich: Volunteer calls for government to ban smoking on hospital sites

Should smoking be banned at hospital entrances?

Should smoking be banned at hospital entrances? - Credit: PA

A smoking ban similar to that imposed in pubs and clubs should be enforced at hospital sites, one Ipswich Hospital volunteer told The Star.

Recognising the hospital’s “hands are tied”, Dave Cooper said he would like to see legislation to enforce the message from the Department of Health that smoking kills.

Mr Cooper said he regularly visits the hospital during the day and at night and frequently sees patients and visitors smoking, particularly outside the south entrance.

He said: “Almost every time I am up at the hospital I see people smoking outside the main entrances.

“I realise the hospital’s hands are tied but I would like to see Government legislation to stop people smoking on hospital sites – like the ban for pubs.

“As a non-smoker I have a right not to walk through people’s smoke.”

Jan Ingle, hospital spokeswoman, said two smoking shelters were donated to the hospital for staff, patients and visitors.

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“We do have a no smoking policy,” she said. “The vast majority of the 8,000 people a day who are on site kindly comply to it.

“The issue of smoking is a very challenging area, while there are many viewpoints it is not actually illegal.”

Health minister and Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter said imposing a ban outside would be very difficult to monitor.