NHS Tayside has become the latest UK hospital to permit the use of e-cigarettes on its grounds, following similar decisions from Nottingham and Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals.
The decision was made following the widespread evidence that e-cigs help people reduce their intake or quit, and are significantly less harmful than regular cigarettes.
The move reflects the recommendation of Scottish Directors of Public Health, as well as that of the Royal College of Physicians, which is to give e-cigs to smokers looking to quit.
Now, vapers will be able to use their e-cigs outdoors on NHS Tayside’s hospital grounds, but they’re still banned from inside buildings and enclosed areas.
This means that vapers should avoid entrances, doorways and seating areas to make sure those surrounding are not exposed to nicotine vaper. However, a recent study found that there is no second-hand vaping.
“We are pleased to be able to update our smoking policy to take account of the latest scientific evidence,” said Andrew Radley, a consultant to the public health pharmacy.
“NHS Tayside is a health-promoting organisation and encourages all of our patients, visitors and staff to observe our smoking policy and keep all of our premises and grounds smoke-free.”
“We would advise our patients that it is better for their health if they do not smoke at all and that they should explore all of the routes available to help them give up. E-cigarettes are almost certainly less harmful than tobacco, and if people are using them as an aid to quit smoking, that is a positive step.”
Tayside is the third Scottish hospital to allow the use of e-cigarettes on its grounds after NHS Scotland lifted the e-cig ban. Recently, a Nottingham hospital chose to allow the use of e-cigs their grounds, too.