New Hospital Alarm System Shames Scottish Smokers into Stopping

By Andrew Tarantola on at

There's no smoking in front of Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Scotland — the sign says so — though nobody really paid attention to it. That's why the hospital installed a loudspeaker-backed smoke alarm commanding cigarette scofflaws — in no uncertain terms — to cut that crap out.

"Despite warning signs telling patients, visitors and staff that smoking is banned in the hospital grounds, people continue to smoke. The result is masses of cigarette ends littering the area." Mike Mackay, Contract Director for the company that installed the device, said in a statement. To combat this, the new alarm will play a pre-recorded message whenever someone lights up near the hospital's front entrance. The system is reportedly sensitive enough to trigger if even a single person takes a drag. If the current system is successful, the hospital plans to install it at every entrance.

FVRH administrators hope that the new enforcement method will improve conditions for patients and staff while helping the hospital reach its goal of helping 5,000 people in Forth Valley quit smoking by March 2014. As of 2011 it had helped about 1,600 people.

It'll be interesting to see if this actually will dissuade smokers or if people will just learn to tune out the warnings like the rest of urban background noise. [NVFH via CNet]

Image credit: NVFH