10 March 2015
As a security officer at the Royal Free Hospital, it is Joseph Ato Conduah’s job to approach people he sees smoking on hospital grounds and politely ask them to put out their cigarettes or move off the hospital grounds. As the Royal Free London becomes a 'smoke free' trust, we asked him his thoughts:
“If I see someone smoking on site I will approach them and politely tell them that the hospital has a no smoking policy and that they are not allowed to smoke on the premises.
“Most of the time people are nice and they understand that this is our policy and they move away from the premises. Sometimes people do become agitated and argue, but you just have to be calm and polite and move away from that person. Our job is not to force people not to smoke or issue penalties, it’s just to point out the policy.
“It would be nice if staff could also say something when they see someone smoking on the premises. It is everybody’s responsibility to make the site smoke free and it would make my job a lot easier if staff showed their support.”
The Royal Free London offers a specialist, friendly, confidential and responsive service to all patients, visitors and staff who want to quit smoking for good. Find out more about our stop smoking service.
Image: Joseph Ato Conduah outside the Royal Free Hospital
Notes to editors
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published public health smoking cessation guidance specifically for hospitals, which includes offering support for people to stop smoking and making all NHS secondary care hospitals completely smoke free.
Smoke free policies have received widespread support. A 2011 YouGov poll found that 82% of people surveyed believed that having smoke free environments was good for the health of the population.
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