NHS Trust Hospitals Ban The Use of E-Cigarettes On Premises

NHS Trust hospitals in Brighton and Sussex have now enforced a ban that prohibits electronic cigarette users from using the devices inside the building or on the grounds; an approach that was also taken with traditional tobacco cigarettes. The reasoning behind this ban is that the devices “look too much like the real thing.”

According to the Argus, trust managers who oversee all procedures within the Royal Sussex County Hospital located in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Hayward’s Heath along with a few other hospitals believe that these devices may cause serious confusion to both staff and the general public.

A spokesman said, “The trust’s smoke free working group took the view that some makes of e-cigarette look remarkably similar to ordinary cigarettes, particularly when seen from a distance or at a glance. Allowing people to use e-cigarettes on site could therefore give the impression that the trust condones smoking on site or does not actively enforce it’s no smoking policy.”

“During the consultation process, the trust council, the health and safety committee and the hospital management board were all asked to consider this point and the rationale for banning e-cigarettes.”

Along with the potential confusion of e-cigarettes and tobacco-based cigarettes, there has also been a concern regarding previous research conducted on these devices and the supposed lack of it justifying the claim that e-cigarettes are much better for you.

As a result, a handful of public bodies have decided to treat these devices exactly the same way as ordinary cigarettes and the policy of these hospitals also states that staff must professionally challenge those who uses these devices or smokes on the premises.

However, despite this policy, the staff are required to make exceptions based on personal judgement for certain hospital patients including those who are terminally ill or those who may grow agitated in the accident and emergency department. The Argus states that they “may find that a quick cigarette outside could help to stop them becoming aggressive or violent”.

How do you feel about hospitals banning the use of electronic cigarettes?

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