The days of smoking on NHS grounds have drawn to a close

Why is the NHS smokefree?

The NHS in Scotland is now totally smokefree. That’s because our job is to protect people’s health, whether patient, visitor or staff. To do this we need to make sure our grounds are the healthiest environments they can be.

That means we can’t allow smoking anywhere, on any NHS grounds.

Q. What counts as NHS grounds?

A. The whole of the NHS in Scotland is now a smokefree zone. That means you can’t smoke outside hospitals, health centres or GP surgeries, or in NHS car parks or gardens.

Q. Why can’t I smoke outside?

A. The NHS exists to look after people’s health. Even smoking outside can harm those visiting and working in NHS buildings. For example, every time you smoke, you breathe out second-hand smoke. 85% of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless, yet it can spread through open windows, doors and ventilation shafts, harming those inside.

Q. What’s the harm if I’m not smoking near an entrance?

A. It’s well known that seeing others smoking can make someone more likely to light up too – and that’s particularly harmful to patients as smoking can delay their recovery time or cause complications.

Q. Can I use e-cigs on NHS grounds?

A. E-cigarettes are not allowed in NHS Buildings or on the majority of NHS grounds. This is because they are not currently regulated as a tobacco product or a medicine in the UK, and we can only recommend products that are known to be safe and effective. E-cigarettes can also mimic the look of smoking, which may make it harder for others not to smoke.

Q. What help is available while I’m on NHS grounds?

A. We know it can be hard to go without a cigarette, particularly at stressful times. So before your visit, find out how we can help.

With your help, we can provide the healthiest environment possible.

Thank you.



Whether you’re just visiting NHS grounds for an hour or two, or in for a longer stay, we understand that going without a cigarette might be hard. Help is available though.

Face-to-face support

If you’re admitted to hospital for a planned stay, a Smoking Cessation Advisor can come to see you and chat through the best options to help you manage.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

You might decide to get help sorted in advance. There are . All are proven to be safe and effective and you can use more than one product to help you manage without cigarettes. NRT can also be used to get you through short periods if you’re a frequent visitor.

The best thing is to find out what’s right for you. You can get free advice from:

Call Smokeline for free advice

Smokeline is a free NHS advice service run by friendly advisors who can explain the options open to you. They can tell you about the advantages of different kinds of NRT and the types of local help available, as well as answer any questions you may have.

If you're having an operation and you decide to quit before it, there are real benefits. You're less likely to suffer from infections and more likely to make a speedier recovery and get home quickly.

Call Smokeline free on

0800 84 84 84

7 days a week 8am-10pm

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