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Fresher, Cleaner, Healthier, Greener campaign

No Smoking Campaign

picture left to right:

Darcy Brown, Trust Lead on  Tobacoo

Dr Neil Munro, Respiratory Physician

Lee Mack, Associate Director in Health and Wellbeing

We're taking a pioneering approach to making our hospital sites smoke free.


To mark the sixth anniversary of our Smokefree policy, we today (Friday, October 12) launched our Fresher, Cleaner, Healthier, Greener campaign.

 The campaign has been backed by staff. Dr Neil Munro, a respiratory consultant at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, sees first-hand the impact smoking can have on people.


He said: "Many patients in our hospitals have illnesses caused by smoking cigarettes, including emphysema, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and circulation problems. It is distressing for patients, their relatives and carers, and for the staff who look after, them to have to walk through the smoke of those who continue with a habit that will ultimately damage health.


"More than that, every day the litter that cigarette smoking on our premises produces has to be cleaned up by members of our staff. It would be far better if that resource could be used to contribute to patient care.


"It has become socially unacceptable to smoke at work, in bars and shops. Wouldn't it be great if we could say the same of hospital premises and all contribute to make them smoke free?"


We have officially unveiled our high profile Fresher, Cleaner, Healthier, Greener signage on lamp-posts, walls, floors and windows across each hospital site.


The move has been backed by Fresh, the region's tobacco control programme.


Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: "Visiting hospital can be very stressful, but smoking on site projects a negative image of our hospitals as a place to get well. Smoking is still the region's biggest killer and the NHS can play a key role in helping to reduce the impact of smoking in all our communities.


"The Smokefree law has been a massive success story in the North East and nationally and most people enjoy being free of breathing in smoke. The County Durham and Darlington Trust is the first in the region to take such a co-ordinated approach to trying to achieve a smokefree site and to set an examplar policy for other NHS trusts.


"We hope the positive new imagery around the hospital site will raise awareness amongst staff, patients and visitors and help them to understand the reasons why. Similar campaigns in other regions have proved to be successful in significantly reducing the levels of on-site smoking."


The campaign will make our sites fresher, cleaner and healthier through:

  • Cutting fumes from cigarette smoke which contain over 4,000 air polluting, health harming chemicals.
  • Removing unsightly cigarette butts. Cleaning up cigarette butts costs taxpayers £4.7m a year in County Durham and Darlington alone.
  • Improving health. Treating smoking-related diseases costs County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust around £11.8 million per year.


It will also help aid patient recovery. Research shows that patients who smoke are more likely to have longer stays in hospital, longer recovery times, more infections and are more likely to be re-admitted in the short-term. Patients who regularly leave their ward to go outside and smoke face an increased risk of infection.


Staff have been provided with guidance on approaching those who continue to smoke on site and have also been offered additional support. Anyone caught smoking will be asked to stop smoking or leave the site.


The Trust's stop smoking service has helped over 52,000 people to quit smoking, since it was established in 1999. Staff, patients and visitors can contact this free service by calling 0800 011 3405 or emailing

'I am writing to congratulate you on your wonderful staff you have working for you at DMH.'

Patient, Catering / Porters / Domestics, Darlington Memorial Hospital