Two NHS hospitals in the Midlands have opened vape shops on their premises in a bid to stub out smoking.
The shops have begun selling e-cigarettes to patients and visitors as the trust introduces £50 fines for those caught smoking, according to the Telegraph.
The move by Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich and City Hospital, Birmingham is part of a wider policy to make the sites entirely smoke-free with cigarette shelters turned into vaping areas.
The ban on smoking is policed by security guards and CCTV cameras, while vaping outside is allowed as long as it is away from doorways.
Public Health England has said all trusts should go smoke-free, but a third are yet to set a date.
Dr David Carruthers, trust medical director, said the trust’s board and clinical leaders are united in the view that smoking kills.
“Giving up smoking saves you money and saves your health. No more passive smoking on our sites is a public health necessity,” he stated.
The government has drawn up plans to eliminate smoking in Britain by 2030. The proposals are also understood to compel the tobacco industry to fund programmes to help smokers quit, instead of the NHS funding it.
John Dunne, director of the UK Vaping Industry Association, said: “As the government is expected to announce a plan to completely eradicate smoking by 2030, we’re going to need more people, organisations and institutions to take progressive and bold steps towards vaping, just like those taken by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.”