Stoptober sees launch of new ‘no smoking’ signage at local hospitals

The annual Stoptober campaign to encourage smokers to quit the habit is upon us again, and this year we’ve used the occasion to launch our new ‘no smoking’ signage.

The University Hospital of North Tees and University Hospital of Hartlepool have received mini-makeovers, with new vibrant images adorning windows and doors along with new posters, display stands and patient information leaflet reminding everyone that all hospitals are smoke-free.

Bright, colourful and impossible to miss, the new signage drives the ‘no smoking’ message home.

Trust medical director Deepak Dwarakanath said: “The new signage clearly emphasises to visitors and staff that these are non-smoking sites. No one is allowed to smoke anywhere on our grounds.

“This is to protect our patients, staff and visitors and their loved ones. The whole reason for coming to hospital is to improve your health. Smoking while in hospital will only impact on your health negatively.

“We have patients coming into our hospitals for chemotherapy. They shouldn’t have to breathe in smoke on their way to getting their treatment. Nor should the hundreds of babies born every year at North Tees have to breathe cigarette smoke when they take in their very first lungful of fresh air when they’re being taken home.”

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Julie Gillon leads a project to reduce smoking among pregnant women in the locality. Julie said: “Stoptober is a fantastic time to think on and reflect on those ladies who can make a make a real difference to their babies and children by giving up smoking.”

Quitting smoking can be tough, but specialist stop smoking adviser Rafeed Rashid has some encouraging words: “Smokers are five times more likely to quit if they can get past that first 28 days.

“Knowing there are thousands of other people trying at the same time during Stoptober will be a massive help. Quitting smoking isn’t always easy, but it’s one of the best things you can do to achieve better health.

“You’re not alone. Our Trust and the NHS at large has lots of support and advice to help.

“Good luck to everyone making the attempt this Stoptober.”

The Stoptober website has lots of advice on quitting,.

There is also local advice and support available: Stockton residents can contact the Specialist Stop Smoking Service on 01642 383819 while Hartlepool residents looking to quick should call Hartlepool Borough Council’s Community Connectors on 01429 402814.

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