NORTH Cumbria’s hospitals have been recognised for their work to ensure as many people as possible lead tobacco free lives.

Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven have both been rated green by Public Health England in a Smokefree NHS survey.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust’s (NCUH), which runs the hospitals, was rated on the steps it has taken to help smokers quit - frontline staff discuss smoking with patients and offer support and referrals - and keep its sites smoke free.

The NHS Long Term Plan includes the commitment that by 2023/24, all people admitted to hospital who smoke will be offered NHS-funded tobacco treatment services.

NCUH is committed to exceeding this target.

Chief executive Stephen Eames said: "This is fantastic news and a real testament to all of the work staff are doing across the county to help people who smoke quit and to stop people smoking on our hospital sites.

"We know we still have more work to do particularly with regard to people smoking outside of the hospital entrances but we will continue in our endeavours for a smoke free site.

"No one wants to come to our hospitals and walk through a cloud of smoke to enter the building and soon we hope smoking on NHS property will seem as outdated as smoking in offices and buildings."

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s director of public health, added: "This is a fantastic achievement and I’d like to congratulate the trust and everyone involved.

"Since 2012, smoking prevalence in adults in Cumbria has reduced by around 23,000 people.

"We’re heading in the right direction to a healthier and smoke free Cumbria and initiatives like these can only help."