All grounds throughout NHS Dumfries & Galloway are to become smoke free by 31st March.
From this date, patients, visitors and staff will be asked to wait until they are off NHS grounds before lighting up and smoking shelters will be removed from hospital grounds.
This ambitious move to achieve smoke free status in the grounds of every hospital, health centre and NHS building across the country is part of a national drive to create a tobacco free generation within Scotland by 2034.
A new national TV and radio campaign has launched asking smokers for their help to make this vision a reality.
NHS Dumfries & Galloway’s Chief Operating Officer, Julie White, said: “Scotland is a world leader in legislating and implementing effective tobacco control policies. The drive to make our NHS grounds smoke free is a vital step in helping us achieve a smoke free generation within the next 20 years.
“We recognise how much effort is required from smokers to refrain from smoking on NHS grounds at what can often be a particularly stressful time for them.
“This campaign is not asking smokers to quit but instead to wait until they are off NHS grounds before lighting up.”
The message of the month-long TV and radio campaign is simple – the time for smoking on NHS grounds has drawn to a close. A green curtain is seen being pulled by a nurse from a patient’s bedside, out of the ward, through the hospital, past parked cars and eventually around the entire perimeter of the hospital’s grounds.
Julie White continued: “The NHS Scotland smoke free commitment extends to all our premises, hospitals, health centres and other community facilities, together with NHS offices and other non-patient buildings.
“The NHS in Scotland has a duty of care to protect the health of, and promote health behaviours amongst, people who use or work in our services. This is why the time for smoking on hospital grounds has drawn to a close.”