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Belfast Trust is now Smoke Free

9th March 2016

Smoke FreeBelfast Trust today joins with all HSC organisations across Northern Ireland on National No Smoking Day to become completely Smoke Free. This means that smoking or using e-cigarettes will no longer be acceptable anywhere on Belfast Trust sites including buildings, entrances, exits, grounds, car parks and all vehicles. We have also removed all our smoking shelters and are in the process of replacing them with bicycle shelters in key locations. This ties in with our travel plans to encourage more people to take up active travel and improve their overall health.

Providing a smoke free environment sends a clear message that Belfast Trust is committed to protecting and promoting the health of our patients, staff and all who visit our facilities.

Dr Michael McBride, Chief Executive, Belfast Trust said, ‘Stopping smoking, at any age, is the single most important thing a person can do to improve their health and we are very pleased to now be able to provide such an environment in Belfast Trust that is supportive of anyone who wishes to do that. We now hope that by creating these environments, supported by smoking cessation services that we can encourage people to live a healthier life’.

He further added, ‘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 financial burden on the health service in treating preventable smoking-related conditions.’

Brendra Creaney, Director of Nursing and Chair for Smoke Free Implementation at Belfast Trust said, ‘We would ask everyone who uses our facilities be they patients, staff or members of the public that they support our smoke free policy and help us create an environment which will be smoke free. All of us working in the Health and Social Care service have a duty of care to protect the health of, and promote health behaviours amongst, people who use or work in our services. We believe that staff and visitors should not be exposed to second hand smoke on our premises. This is why the time for smoking on our Trust grounds has drawn to a close.’

What about E-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are battery operated devices that supply nicotine along with other chemicals, usually propylene glycol and flavourings. However,other chemicals can be in e-cigarettes. There is a lack of rigorous research studies to support using e-cigarettes as a safe and effective Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). They are also monitored under limited regulation, and are not licensed as a medicine in the UK. Therefore, the Belfast Trust has decided to include the use of e-cigarettes as part of the Smoke Free policy.

What happens if I am a smoker?

Visitors or members of the public will no longer be able to smoke on Belfast Trust sites. Where possible, visitors and members of the public will be made aware that Belfast Trust is a Smoke Free site from the 9 March 2016, and signposted to Smoking Cessation support.

What help is available for visitors and members of the public who wish to quit smoking?

For Smoking Cessation support, visitors and members of the public can contact their GP or local Pharmacy or go online to the Stop Smoking NI website.

Help promote Smoke Free by signing in to Belfast Trust Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter and use #SmokeFreeHSC