New Legislation to Ban Smoking Near Hospital Buildings Comes into Force

A new nationwide ban on smoking outside hospitals comes into force today (Monday 5th September 2022).

The new legislation means anyone found lighting up within fifteen metres of a hospital building could face a fixed penalty notice of £50 or a fine of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court. This is the latest step in the Scottish Government’s plan to create a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034 and supports the voluntary smoke-free hospital grounds policy introduced in 2015.

The new law will apply to NHS hospital settings used for the treatment and care of patients and includes a ban on lighting up beneath overhanging structures.

Dr Graham Foster, NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, said: “Smoking is not permitted anywhere on our hospital grounds and this new law now makes it an offence to smoke anywhere near hospital buildings and entrances.

“Many people who visit our hospitals are particularly vulnerable to the harms and irritations caused by breathing in second-hand smoke. Staff and visitors also find it very unpleasant to have to walk through clouds of smoke so it therefore benefits everyone to keep all areas around hospitals smoke-free.”

Public Health Minister Maree Todd said: “Everyone knows that smoking is bad for our health and hospital patients, in particular, should be protected from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

“This new law is the latest step in our bold plan to make Scotland tobacco-free by 2034 – building on our dedicated stop-smoking services and early intervention measures to stop youngsters picking up the habit altogether.

“Anyone looking to quit can contact the NHS QuitYourWay Helpline or speak to their local pharmacy to discuss the range of help available.”

ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said: “Extending current legislation to include outdoor areas will have the positive impact of protecting people from the harmful effects of breathing in toxic tobacco smoke through vents, windows or doorways while they are being treated and recovering in hospital.