I HAVE just read about the smoking ban at The James Cook and The Friarage hospitals (Echo, Mar 22).

I do hope they have more success than the Memorial hospital in Darlington.

I have witnessed patients smoking near the main entrance attached to drips they have dragged from the wards, pregnant women sitting on a bench near the entrance to the women's centre and visitors lighting up while they are waiting for transport.

They smoke while standing on writing that tells them not to smoke in hospital grounds.

There are beautiful flower tubs created by a lovely lady and all her hard work is being used as ashtrays.

Come on, people, have some respect for yourselves and other hospital visitors that have to walk through the lingering smoke and the horrible smell it leaves.

Margaret Stabler, Darlington