NHS Lanarkshire chiefs are set to review their smoking policy at hospitals after new evidence on the benefits of ‘vaping’.
The smoking ban at Hairmyres Hospital, and other hospitals across the area, could be relaxed following a Health Scotland review, which showed that using e-cigarettes can help give up smoking tobacco.
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde have taken action based on the figures, and say e-cigarettes can now be used on hospital grounds by patients, visitors and staff.
However, the substitute will not be allowed within buildings, or at entrances or exits to hospitals and other health facilities.
Now, NHS Lanarkshire are set to consider if they should also allow the devices on hospital grounds following the new information.
NHS Lanarkshire’s director of public health medicine Dr Harpreet Kohli revealed that they are willing to review the policy if and when new evidence emerges.
Dr Kohli said: “NHS Lanarkshire introduced a no smoking policy which banned smoking on all our grounds and vehicles in 2008 and it was updated in 2014 to include electronic cigarettes as these devices are currently unregulated.
“There remains concern over their safety and efficacy.
“We’re aware new evidence is emerging in relation to electronic cigarettes and we will review our policy as required in the future in line with the evidence base.
“We fully support the Scottish Government’s Tobacco Control Strategy for Scotland which has tasked NHS Boards to become completely smoke free on hospital grounds.”
From August 2008, lighting up a cigarette has been banned throughout NHS Lanarkshire’s grounds under the revised No Smoking Policy.
The policy means people are no longer allowed to light up anywhere inside NHS Lanarkshire premises or within the grounds, including areas around hospital and health centre entrances and car parks.