In nine months’ time staff, patients and visitors - including contractors and suppliers - will no longer be able to smoke anywhere on NHS sites, including the grounds and gardens or in vehicles and car parks. Some NHS providers may become smoke free before Tuesday, January 1 2019.

The decision to become completely smoke free at all NHS sites in Swindon and Wiltshire was announced today on National No Smoking Day.

Dr Ian Orpen of the BSW STP Clinical Board, said: “We want to send out a clear message that smoking severely damages your health and can slow down your recovery time after an operation or procedure. We will be providing support for our staff and patients to help them become smoke free, should they wish to.

“We understand some people may not wish to stop smoking and we will be providing them with assistance to ensure that during their stay in hospital or whilst at work they can abstain by using Nicotine Replacement Therapy. E-cigarettes are currently the most popular method for quitting amongst smokers so we will be looking at how we can support smokers who wish to use these devices.”