Portlaoise Hosptial has become a smoke-free zone, long before the two other Midland Hospitals, and two years ahead of the deadline.
The local hospital has been a complete tobacco free zone, since November 1. Smoking was not just banned in the carpark, but in cars, doorways, bicycle shelters, or anywhere inside the entrance gates.
Portlaoise is one of 17 hospitals which are now tobacco free, along with the HSE Central Office, Arden Rd Tullamore and HSE Headquarters at Dr. Steevens’ Hospital in Dublin.
According to the HSE, management at Portlaoise hospital are satisfied with the compliance rate at the facility and are committed to the successful implementation of the policy.
However, Tullamore and Mullingar are still only in the planning stages of their smoke ban, with no final for when it will be implemented.
“Many other hospitals facilities including Mullingar and Tullamore are planning to introduce smoke-free campuses and a range of resources is available to help in this planning and implementation process,” a HSE spokesperson said.
As part of our National Tobacco Control Framework, the HSE has committed to making all its workplaces and campuses smoke-free 2015.
Therefore, smoking by employees, service users, visitors and any other parties will be prohibited within all HSE campuses on or before 31st December 2015
The HSE explained: “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in Ireland. On average in each of our regional hospitals a Respiratory Consultant tells 2-3 people each week that they have lung cancer. 1,600 people die in Ireland each year from lung cancer.”
“Smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of ill-health and premature death. Ireland led the world in implementing the smoke-free workplace legislation; we are now taking the next logical step in having a smoke-free health service.”