Hospitals in North Wales are using graffiti to encourage people smoking on hospital grounds to quit during 2013. Ian Lang reports.
According to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, there are 27,700 hospital admissions caused by smoking each year in Wales. More than 9,000 of these can be attributed to each of circulatory disease and respiratory disease, plus over 7,000 to malignant cancers.
Andrew Jones, executive director of public health for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is says they receive a number of complains about people smoking outside hospital doors, despite clear no smoking signs.
– Andrew Jones, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Visitors and staff often have to walk through a cloud of smoke before entering the building. We do request that the public respect the board's policy of not smokingoutside hospital entrances.
By placing messages on the pavements in the areas where people smoke we hope to encourage them to make a fresh start and seek help from Stop Smoking Wales to quit
Hospitals in North Wales are taking an artistic approach to educating patients, visitors and staff flouting the smoking ban.
Colourful graffiti art has been placed on pavements around hospital grounds encouraging smokers to quit during 2013.
There has been a decrease in smoking on Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board hospital grounds and outside entrances, but many are still ignoring signs and requests not to smoke.
It's five years since smoking in enclosed spaces was banned in Wales. Several more campaigns have followed, including one to discourage people smoking in cars with children. Today, an anti-smoking charity is urging a ban in children's play areas.
Elen de Lacy, Chief Executive of Ash Wales, explained further: "We're not talking about the whole park - just children's play areas", she said. "So how about not smoking in their space?"
Ash Cymru is a voluntary organisation in Wales tackling tobacco use. Chief executive Elen de Lacy speaks to ITV Wales ahead of tomorrow's smoking ban anniversary.