Die-hard smokers puffing away outside Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield are being shamed into stubbing their fags out by pre-recorded messages playing on a speaker system.
Staff, visitors and patients can now push a blue button to active the messages to deter smokers from smoking outside the hospital entrance, which is directly under the windows of the maternity ward.
The messages include a child’s voice saying: ‘Please don’t smoke outside our hospital. Excuise me, do you think you can put out your cigarette. Someone’s nanny, granddad, mummy or daddy is having cancer treatment today. Thank you.’
The crackdown, by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust which runs the hospital, comes after a no-smoking policy across all of its sites was introduced in March.
The Trust says ‘No smoking’ signs put up across its estate do not deter all smokers from lighting up around hospital entrances – including areas where ambulances are dropping off patients.
Ian Brodie, the trust’s general manager of facilities, said: “We’ve introduced the system because it’s vital we take every possible step to discourage smoking.
“Patients and visitors, including new born babies and those arriving by ambulance, often have to pass through cigarette smoke at our hospital entrances, which is totally unacceptable.
“Our goal is to have smoke free sites, and the ability to broadcast these messages is a crucial step towards this.”
Research shows that with specialised support and a pharmacological product, you are four times more likely to quit smoking than if you go it alone.
For help to stop smoking, contact Yorkshire Smokefree (YSF) on 01924 541286 or by email email@example.com.