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Smoking drops by half after hospital campaign

A DECISION to ban smoking in the grounds of Glasgow hospitals has seen the number of people lighting up falling by more than half.

As a result, a pilot scheme which resulted in no-smoking wardens patrolling all NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde main hospitals has been extended into next year.

The health board's zero tolerance crackdown on smoking in hospital grounds was launched in May.

Hospital entrances at 11 sites were rebranded with bright red ground markings and giant posters creating highly visible no smoking zones.

The impact of the "Smoking in Hospital Grounds - We're Sick of it" campaign has resulted in a 56% reduction in the number of people smoking at hospital entrances in five months.

Before the campaign launch, the Health Board received most complaints about people smoking in hospital grounds.

But since the ban was introduced, the number of complaints has fallen by around 18%.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "I am delighted NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's campaign to discourage people smoking outside their hospitals has been a success and that the board has decided to continue using smoking wardens on some of their larger sites to discourage smokers.

"Scotland has set an ambitious target to become smoke-free by 2034.

"We are taking forward a range of measures to achieve this including bringing forward legislation on standardised packaging, investing in prevention and cessation programmes as well as looking specifically at discouraging young people from smoking and maintaining pressure on the price of tobacco.

"Each year, tobacco use is associated with 13,000 deaths and 56,000 hospital admissions in Scotland."

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