Seven primary care facilities in County Louth are set to become smoke free as part of the HSE plan to eliminate smoking from all its facilities.
The Ramparts, Castlebellingham, Ardee and Clogherhead Primary Care Centres are among the seven centres in which the ban will implemented.
The ban will come into practice as of September 1st.
In a statement the HSE said: “As part of the National Tobacco Control Framework, the HSE has committed to making all its workplaces and campuses tobacco free by 2015. This process is well underway here in County Louth where Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda and Louth County Hospital Dundalk have already gone ‘tobacco free’.”
From September 1st it will no longer be possible to smoke anywhere on the grounds, for example entrances, doorways, walkways, car parks, cars, bicycle shelters etc.
The policy will apply to all staff, clients, contractors and anyone who enters the grounds of the health centre and it will ensure a healthier, safer and cleaner environment for all. The policy also applies to the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs.
Ms. Paula Campbell, Health Promotion Officer, HSE said, “Introducing the Tobacco Free Campus policy provides an environment that promotes health and supports those who want to stop smoking.”
“We are not telling anyone that they must stop smoking, but we are asking people not to smoke on our campus. Stopping smoking, at any age, is the single most important thing a person can do to improve their health and we are very pleased to be able to provide such an environment that is supportive of anyone who wishes to do that.”
Tobacco use is a significant cause of ill health and mortality in the population.
It affects 1 million people in Ireland and their families while creating an enormous cost for our health service each year. This health service cost is estimated to be €437million (€72 million to primary care).
The HSE has therefore made the decision to introduce a Tobacco Free Campus Policy across the organisation to benefit the health of patients, visitors and staff in accordance with the HSE’s Tobacco Control Framework.