HOSPITALS and NHS premises across Yorkshire and the Humber are being urged to go smoke free as part of efforts to support voluntary smoking bans in towns and cities across the region.
Paul Johnstone, director of public health for Yorkshire and Humber, told a Smoke Free Communities summit meeting that more NHS trusts and councils should shut down staff smoking rooms in a bid to reduce the effects of second-hand smoke.
He said: "As the largest employers in the region, public services should lead by example. How can we ask other organisations to go smoke-free if we do not have our own house in order?
"The NHS and local authorities have a duty to protect the health and wellbeing of staff and to demonstrate exemplary conduct to other employers."
A survey showed that only one hospital trust, Hull and East Yorkshire, is currently smoke free.
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust plan to go smoke free in January but all other hospital trusts surveyed still have smoking rooms on their premises.
Many local authority-run offices in the region still offer smoking rooms for staff and less then half are totally smoke free.
Nearly 85% of the region's GP-led primary care trusts already are, or are planning to go, smoke free in the next six months.
Huddersfield's two primary care trusts both operate a no-smoking policy.
A statement from the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, which runs Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and St Luke's Hospital at Crosland Moor, said: "The Trust is constantly reviewing its position regarding smoking at its sites in line with Government policy.
"Smoking at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary site is restricted to two designated rooms at the hospital for patients and staff.
"These facilities are provided to ensure the reduction of any risk factors associated with patients or staff smoking in inappropriate areas.
"Elsewhere the hospital is a smoke free zone and wherever possible the Trust encourages patients and staff to stop smoking by offering a free counselling service and providing patches."