NHS board bans smoking in grounds

The NHS board in the Scottish Borders has said it will extend the ban on smoking to its grounds and car parks from 1 January.

The health board said its revised Tobacco Policy aimed to "maximise health improvement" for staff, patients and visitors.

The only exceptions to the no smoking rule will be car parks 1-6 at Borders General Hospital.

Smoking will be allowed as people exit cars but not on pedestrian walkways.

Smoking in enclosed public spaces such as hospital premises has been banned in Scotland since 2006.

NHS Borders chief executive Calum Campbell said: "Our long-term aim has always been to achieve a completely smoke-free environment and this is one more important step towards achieving this.

"With the exception of the BGH car parks, anyone smoking on our premises should expect to be asked to stop.

"In this situation, we would ask people to comply with the request to put the cigarette out or move to an area outside the grounds and respect the fact that staff are only trying to promote our health improvement message."

Dr Eric Baijal, joint director of public health, said: "NHS Borders is committed to promoting healthy living and non-smoking as our normal culture.

"We are doing this by ensuring a smoke-free environment, and offering support to those who want to give up.

"This policy aims to protect not only our staff, but anyone who uses our premises."

The health board said the exception at Borders General Hospital was due to the "unique size of the BGH grounds".

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