SMOKING on site at Andover War Memorial Hospital will soon be a thing of the past.

Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the town facility, is taking steps to make sure that patients and visitors are not exposed to cigarette smoke on their way into and out of hospital.

From October 1 the trust will become completely smoke-free, with no smoking or vaping allowed on site.

Chief executive Alex Whitfield said: “Going smoke-free will mean a more pleasant and safe environment for everyone who uses or works in our hospitals and it is a step we are taking as part of our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of our staff, patients and visitors.

“It will protect people, particularly vulnerable patients such as newborn babies and people with respiratory problems, from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke on the way into and out of our hospitals.

“As a major employer and provider of hospital services to people across Hampshire, we have a responsibility to help reduce smoking and, in turn, the serious illnesses related to it.

“We will be providing lots of additional support to help people stop smoking as part of the programme, so we hope that this initiative will also help to reduce smoking.”