News Releases
Removal of smoking shelters from hospital grounds “pathetic” says Forest

Campaigners have reacted with fury to the news that smoking shelters have been removed from the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Marking the start of the Stoptober quit smoking campaign, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trustannounced that the Trust would remove all designated smoking areas situated within the grounds of its two main hospitals.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

“What a pathetic thing to do.

“It’s one thing to ask smokers not to smoke close to hospital entrances, but to prohibit smoking anywhere on the grounds and to remove the one place where they can find shelter in bad weather is beyond belief.

“Where is the compassion for patients, visitors and even staff for whom a quiet smoke may be a comfort at a difficult and stressful time?

“The policy discriminates against the elderly and the infirm because the removal of smoking shelters will force patients further afield in search of somewhere else to light up.

“So much for our caring NHS. Whoever made this decision should be ashamed of themselves.”

Simon Clark

Mission & Vision



Forest’s mission is to protect the interests of adults who choose to smoke or consume tobacco.


Our key aims and objectives are to:

  • counteract the “denormalisation” of smoking, and smokers
  • prevent further restrictions on the purchase and consumption of tobacco
  • establish closer links with other tobacco-friendly groups at home and abroad
  • build support among consumers of tobacco and other similarly threatened groups
  • highlight the increasingly intrusive nature of Big Government in the lives of private individuals