PATIENTS have welcomed the news that Basingstoke Hospital is set to go smoke-free.

The Gazette reported last week that Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust would be banning smoking and vaping from its sites across the county from October 1.

It comes after the father of a newborn complained that his son’s first breaths were tainted by second-hand smoke when leaving Basingstoke Hospital.

And he was not the only parent to experience this.

“This is good news. I will never forget when we took our baby home. The poor little girl had to breathe the cigarette smoke first instead of the fresh air,” new mother Anita Adamecz commented on social media.

While a former hospital worker said: “When I worked there it really got on my nerves. Whenever I walked out of the front doors people were smoking blowing their cigarette smoke at me - they were not even in the smoking shelters, no one bothered to use them, and also this needs to go to the staff,

“I worked with staff that every so often went outside for a cigarette and would come back in smelling of cigarettes, always made me cough, it can’t be good for patients having to breath that in when staff come back in from the smoking shelter.”

A regular patient at the hospital welcomed the news. “I was recently waiting for a cab by the main entrance and someone stood next to me lit up a cigarette.

“I don’t care that people smoke but not next to me because it causes me to lose my breath.”

Although partial smoking bans have been in place previously, discretion has been exercised in the past, allowing limited smoking in some designated outdoor areas.

On said: “I am pleased but they have had a ban in certain areas for years that was never enforced.

“This will only work if it’s enforced by the staff. So I’m pleased with the ruling but remain sceptical of its success.”

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