Smoking has been prohibited in all South Eastern Trust buildings, grounds and car parks at both hospital and community facilities from Wednesday of this week.
The move comes as the Trust believe it is unacceptable for patients, visitors and staff to be subjected to second-hand smoking while on health and social care facilities.
By making this move, they hope to both protect people’s health directly, and to change the culture and highlight where smoking is not appropriate.
Consultant Cardiologist Dr Andrew Hamilton said: “Our core business is to improve people’s health so this is the right thing to do.
“If you light up on a health site after 9 March, you may be approached by a member of staff who will politely draw your attention to the smoke free rule.
“By creating a smoke free environment and providing smoking cessation services onsite, we hope to encourage people to use this opportunity to quit smoking.
“I would like to reassure patients who are going to be admitted to hospital that they can be provided with nicotine replacement products, support and advice on their ward.”
A recent survey has shown that the transformation to smoke free sites has the overwhelming support of our staff, service users and visitors.
The official implementation day is also National No Smoking Day.
To find your nearest specialist service visit www.want2stop.info or contact the Stop Smoking Team on 028 92 501373.