Report this comment
  • "
    ksmain wrote:
    chas wrote:
    ksmain wrote:
    chas wrote: Dorset County Hospital is an NHS Trust hospital which means that it is public property. Smoking is NOT illegal in open public areas so the hospital cannot ban smoking in its grounds. If the hospital was to reinstall the smoking shelter with litter bins, smokers would be able to put their cigarette ends in the bins.
    I'll think you'll find that they can in just the same way as a pub or a train. Pubs are public places and smokers are banned, smokers go off their premises to smoke. The only difference is that hospitals have grounds, which are still their premises. And I agree with a site ban - after all how can an organisation whose primary goal is to improve peoples health tolerate something that does not on it's grounds? A conflict of interest surely?
    Did you know that one can smoke in a pub garden which is also part of the pub's property. We are talking about smoking in OPEN public areas.
    Yes I am aware. But there are also signs up - and it still is hospital premises public accessed or not. And you must be aware of the rule to argue it here. And it is also about respecting other peoples rules as well - otherwise why have rules? And how far is it to walk off the premises to a public highway?
    It is only a policy and NOT a law. It is NOT illegal to smoke in OPEN public areas.
    Do you understand the difference between POLICY and LAW?"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.

  • Enter the above word in the box below

Hospital smoking ban being flouted

STUB IT OUT: Elaine Cheeseman at Dorset County Hospital

STUB IT OUT: Elaine Cheeseman at Dorset County Hospital

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

HOSPITAL patients and visitors are having to walk through discarded cigarette butts as people flout a smoking ban, it is claimed.

Elaine Cheeseman, from Weymouth, noticed the litter when visiting a friend at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester .

She said: “It is just awful.

“It’s not just in that area, it’s all around the entrances and at the bus stop.

“Patients and visitors come to the hospital often feeling quite anxious and do not expect to have to deal with that.

“It smells and it looks disgusting.”

Smoking has been banned on the hospital grounds since 2006 in line with national policy.

But Mrs Cheeseman, 58, said she has seen people flouting the ban.

She said: “I’m an ex-smoker myself, and I know for a lot of people it’s an everyday part of their life. Stopping is not just switching out a light, and I’m aware that if patients are facing illnesses, they may want to smoke. You can’t deprive them of that.”

She added: “I was disgusted by the mess outside a hospital that clearly states in large writing that it is a smoke free zone.

“If smoking cannot be controlled, then would it not be preferable to return the cigarette and litter bins, or to provide a designated area, rather than having to walk through the disgusting mess that currently litters the walkways outside the hospital?”

“You are never going to stop people smoking, but if they are going to have a ban, they at least need to uphold it.”

A spokesman for Dorset County Hospital said cigarette butts are cleared on a regular basis as part of the hospital’s grounds clearance and maintenance programme.

She said: “Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital site and we have renewed our efforts recently to spread the smoke-free message.

“We have every prominent signs throughout the site telling people they should not smoke anywhere in the hospital grounds.

“Staff are encouraged to approach anyone they find smoking and executive directors have been emphasising the message as part of their regular patient safety walkabouts.”

She added: “We are also doing a lot of work to support patients coming into hospital who smoke, by helping them give up beforehand or providing nicotine replacement therapy while they are in hospital.

“We have no plans to re-install the smoking shelters on the site.

“As a healthcare provider we cannot condone smoking in any way and will continue our efforts to encourage people to quit.”

For more information and help on stopping smoking, visit

Comments (49)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree