Sunday, May 26, 2024

Curbs on NHS patients smoking when health workers are visiting

EDINBURGH: Patients covered under the National Health Service (NHS) in a part of Nottinghamshire are being told to desist from smoking at their homes when the health workers come visiting.

The new rules being introduced by Ashfield and Mansfield Primary Care Trust from the new year are part of a zero tolerance policy towards smoking. The rules prescribe that patients who will not stop smoking will have to approach another venue for treatment.

The Primary Care Trust does not allow patients and staff to smoke in all its building, grounds and community health centres. It says it indeed wants to protect its staff from the hazards of passive smoking. It also plans to ban health workers from smoking in cars when they are on a visit.

Primary Care Trust’s senior public health manager Barbara Brady said tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals in the form of particles and gases and some of the immediate effects of passive smoking include eye irritation, headache, cough, sore throat, dizziness and nausea.

The proposal had drawn criticism from some quarters. Tory MP Richard Bacon, himself a non-smoker, said people should be allowed to do what they like at their homes.

Simon Clark of pro-smoking group Forest, said the very idea that anybody is at serious risk from smoke by going into someone’s home for a short time is utter nonsense and part of the anti-smoking hysteria. He felt this could be a first step towards a campaign to ban all smoking in the home.

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