E-cigarette ban lifted by Nottingham hospital trust

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Image caption,
Patients and visitors will be allowed to use e-cigarettes in the grounds of City Hospital and the Queen's Medical Centre

A hospital trust has lifted a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in its grounds.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Medical Centre and City Hospital, is one of the first trusts in England to allow restricted use of the devices.

It said it had reversed its ban in light of evidence they are less dangerous than smoking tobacco.

E-cigarette use is still banned inside the hospitals and smoking remain banned inside and outside.

The move comes after the Royal College of Physicians said using e-cigarettes was "much safer" than smoking.


Dr Stephen Fowlie, medical director at the trust, said: "We have a duty to help our patients and staff make healthy life choices, and can't ignore the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes as a nicotine replacement therapy.

"We're now allowing e-cigarettes on our grounds to give our patients, staff and visitors more choice in how they quit smoking."

He said the inside ban would remain because "vaping does have a smell or fragrance and some patients do not appreciate others using e-cigarettes within the buildings".

Dr Fowle added: "We would prefer they don't vape outside the hospitals either, but we think the potential for e-cigs to help patients give up the much more dangerous habit of smoking cigarettes… is far more important."

The trust's new smoking policy also commits it to promote smoking cessation services for patients and staff.

Prof John Britton, respiratory consultant at the trust, said: "We need to encourage all patients and visitors who smoke and find it difficult to abstain while in hospital grounds to use medicinal nicotine, or an electronic cigarette."

Vaping explained

  • In March, the Welsh Assembly failed to pass a public health bill that included a ban on e-cigarette use in some public places
  • Vaping is banned on the London Transport network, including buses and the Underground, and has been since 2014
  • The Nottingham trust first banned e-cigarettes in 2014
  • But after a review by Public Health England in 2015, NHS England recommended e-cigarettes should not be banned by hospital trusts or in prisons
  • Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are among the top football clubs that not allow vaping inside or around their grounds
  • Southern Trains, along with most other train operators, has banned vaping on its trains and platforms

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