As part of its no-smoking policy, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust will fine members of the public and discipline workers caught smoking as a new ban comes in to force. Staff will face formal disciplinary action if caught three times on hospital grounds. The trust has employed enforcement officers who will issue £50 penalty to any members of the public caught smoking.
Vaping isn’t just allowed – it’s being encouraged.
The Trust has formed a partnership with Ecigwizard, and the chain will run two vape stores at City and Sandwell hospitals. The Trust is also planning on keeping several smoking shelters in situ, but these will now be for vaping only.
Dr David Carruthers, Medical Director of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, said: “The Trust’s Board, and our clinical leaders, are united in the view that smoking kills. Given that simple truth, we can no longer support smoking on our sites, even in shelters or cars. Every alternative is available, and we ask visitors and patients to work with us to enforce these changes. Giving up smoking saves you money and saves your health. No more passive smoking on our sites is a public health necessity.”
This is the kind of policy that should be adopted across all NHS Trusts. Public Health England’s Nigel Smith commented: “The NHS has a pivotal role to ensure smoking was not allowed anywhere on its premises. We congratulate all those Trusts who have gone or are working towards going smoke-free and urge all those who haven't yet to set a date.”
Joe Lucas, Ecigwizard’s Head of Retail for said: “We’re incredibly happy to announce the opening of our two shops at Sandwell and City Hospital, supporting the Trust’s smoke-free status. We are keen to offer vaping as an alternative to smoking, as a means to help people cut down or quit. Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust chose to partner with Ecigwizard because of our attention to detail on quality and safety, from testing e-liquids in a purpose-built laboratory and state of the art cleanroom.”
Company director Ben Potter was delighted with the new partnership: “We are thrilled that Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has taken positive steps forward in combating tobacco smoking. The UK continues to show the world that vaping products are a valuable tool in the long-term goal of creating a smoke-free world.”
News quickly travelled overseas, and Azim Chowdhury, Partner at Keller and Heckman LLP, exclaimed: “Wow, so in the UK, Vape shops are being opened literally inside hospitals to help patients and staff smoking cigarettes to find alternatives. Stark contrast with what is happening in the US. Good work Ecigwizard. Check this out FDA Tobacco, Scott Gottlieb MD, Jerome Adams MD.”