Darent Valley Hospital is banning all smoking to "lead by example"
PUBLISHED: 14:52 18 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:17 21 August 2017
The ban starts on October 2
Patients and visitors at Darent Valley Hospital will soon have to make their way off the site to smoke or vape.
Under new proposals, the hospital will be extending its ban on smoking from staff to patients and visitors across the site on October 2.
A spokesperson from Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “We are happy to announce that Darent Valley Hospital will be going completely smoke free in time for Stoptober this year.
“We understand how difficult it can be for people to give up when they have smoked for many years and so we are publicising our smoke free message well in advance of the October 2 date when it will come into effect.
“From that date, smoking or vaping will be prohibited anywhere on the hospital site, including the car parks.
“As the local hospital and part of the community I feel that we have a responsibility to lead by example and to encourage, help, assist and communicate healthier life choices to our staff, patients and visitors.
“We see the effects of smoking related illness every day at Darent Valley and with the support of the public, we hope to make this hospital a better, cleaner and healthier environment for everybody.”
The ban will continue after October, beyond the Stoptober campaign, which aims to get smokers to collectively give up together during a 31-day amnesty.
Marilyn Peters, Dartford council’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “For the most part I agree with the decision.
“Passive smoking is a danger to other people, but I know there have been concerns about where people will go to smoke instead, we don’t want to see paths outside the hospital grounds full of cigarette ends.
“It is about setting a good example, I can understand for those with someone in the hospital, coming outside for a cigarette can be helpful, but I do think the ban is a good idea and expect to see it in more hospitals going forward.”
The move has divided opinion online but so far in our online poll, more than two thirds of voters believe the trust’s decision is a good idea.