Recorded messages asking smokers to put out their cigarettes are now being broadcast outside Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
Staff, visitors and patients can push the blue button to activate one of nine pre-recorded messages, which are played via a loud speaker outside the hospital entrance where smoking is a prevalent problem.
The crackdown, by The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pinderfields, comes after a no smoking policy across all of its sites was introduced back in March this year.
The tannoy was introduced after ‘No smoking’ signs failed to deter all smokers from lighting up around hospital entrances, including areas where ambulances are dropping off patients.
Iain Brodie, general manager of facilities at the trust said: “If a member of the public or staff sees someone smoking, they can press a button in the main reception to activate a voice message, which can be heard loud and clear, outside the main Pinderfields Hospital entrance asking smokers to extinguish their cigarettes.
“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.
“The government aims for smoking rates, outlined in the tobacco control plan for England, to be 12 per cent or less by the end of 2022. The current smoking rates within Wakefield are 17.9 per cent and we are trying to encourage smokers to join the non-smokers.”
For help to stop smoking, contact Yorkshire Smokefree on 01924 541286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.