Smokers Challenge the No Smoking Policy at Kings Lynn Hospital

The No Smoking Sign & the Cigarettes

After several visits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here in Kings Lynn Norfolk, I noticed that very often there would be several people, both patients and visitors, smoking across the road from the main entrance to the hospital. I found it particularly alarming on one occasion when I saw a patient standing there hooked up to a drip and they also appeared to have an oxygen supply! On this visit today I took a few minutes to speak to several people smoking outside the main Building of the Queen Elizabeth HNS trust Hospital in clear violation of the stated No Smoking policy. They felt that the policy of banning smoking anywhere with in the grounds of the hospital was “Pointless” and “stupid”. I have decided to keep the written article short as I think the recorded conversation really sums everything Their views are very clear in this conversation which was recorded at the hospital.

Richard Humphries, the media & communications spokes person for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital confirmed that currently the signs stated that the No Smoking Policy was across the grounds but that this had been reviewed recently by the Hospital board and that this part of the policy had been relaxed as the Hospital had no powers to enforce this NHS directive and the No Smoking Policy now only covered the buildings. The board had discussed and reviewed the entire smoking policy as recently as the end of Oct 2011 and was also looking to erect shelters for smoking and was looking closely at the placement and costing of these shelters. This does go someway to addressing the concerns expressed by the members of the public.  The recent review also begs the question how the NHS could expect a hospital to put an unenforceable directive in place?

Smoking area across from the main hospital entrance.
Patients & Visitors use this area when smoking.

Its my belief that the Smoking Policy needed to be either enforced in some way or emended and it looks like the Hospital has identified that there was a need to make these changes.

I do wonder about the cost of those signs and the mind set of the people that ignored them.

As a follow up to this story I recently visited Norwich Hospital and found the same situation there, smokers openly flouting the No Smoking policy there.  Seated at a table which ad a No Smoking sign fixed to it was ‘David’ here is what he had to say.

David Norwich smoker

So it seems that the policy which covered the entire grounds of a hospital which is un-enforcable is common across Norfolk at least.  I look forward to the responses from these two hospitals and welcome stories from service users who are also smokers.  OR are you a non smoker who feels that this policy should be enforced?  Don’t you mind where and when smokers can smoke?  Respond at get your voice heard.

Alan Taylor-Shearer

10 Nov 2011

All images Copyright atsukphotography Ltd 2011

4 thoughts on “Smokers Challenge the No Smoking Policy at Kings Lynn Hospital

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  1. I would like to put a few facts which expose these people who have instigated smoking bans on health grounds, no 1 is that there is no significant evidence that second hand smoke is harmful, this is what our Health and safety executive (HSE) published just before our smoking ban in 2007 “In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the raised risk of contracting specific diseases and it is therefore difficult to prove health-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act”. The OHSA in America also concluded a similar assumption as workplace smoking bans could not be initiated. Of all the studies into second hand smoke (SHS) combined, the Relative Risk (RR) show RR 1.19 (A relative risk of 1 means there is no difference in risk between the two groups) RR 2 is not usually even classed as significant, usually to show significant harm there is an RR 3 Water has an RR of 1.15 Smoking bans are politically led and have nothing to do with the health of non smokers, here is a list of all the studies presented before the Scotland ban.
    For more information go to

    1. Thanks Greg & sorry for the very long delay in responding. I may have come across as very anti-smoking. To me it’s free choice but I wanted to try & speak to the smokers from the point of view of the, so called, majority of non smokers whilst still gleaning the best responses from the smokers I spoke too. The follow up to this story is that the hospital has recently stated they are lifting the site wide ban & are installing, at a cost of over £17,000, shelters in 3 locations for smokers.

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