SMOKING is now banned on all of South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust sites as it continues to encourage people give up the habit.

As well as stubbing out the problem, the scheme will see The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and the Trust’s community hospital wards providing nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to smokers who have to stay in hospital overnight.

Staff will also be offering brief stop smoking advice and support to all patients attending for clinics and routine procedures, signposting those who want to quit to local stop smoking cessation services.

Chief executive Siobhan McArdle said: “As part of our smokefree NHS pledge we are making sure staff and patients are provided with the advice and tools they need to quit smoking, or at least abstain whilst on our hospital sites, and our smokefree security team will have an increased presence at our entrances.”

Clive Peedell, consultant clinical oncologist at South Tees, said: “We want every patient to have the very best outcome and the chances of a healthy recovery greatly improve with quitting smoking.

“By going smokefree, we aim to bring significant benefits for the health and wellbeing of everyone who uses our hospitals and services. A key part of this will be helping patients coming for a short stay in our hospitals to abstain from smoking."

The initiative has been welcomed by health chiefs from around the country.