Smoking has been banned at Darent Valley Hospital.

The hospital has announced that smoking and vaping will be banned across the whole site from October 2.

Staff are already forbidden from smoking and vaping in hospital grounds but the ban will be extended to patients.

A spokesman for Darent Valley said: "We are happy to announce that Darent Valley Hospital will be going completely smoke free in time for Stoptober this year.

"We understand how difficult it can be for people to give up when they have smoked for many years and so we are publicising our Smoke Free message well in advance of the October 2 date when it will come into effect.

"From that date, smoking or vaping will be prohibited anywhere on the hospital site, including the car parks.

"As the local hospital and part of the community I feel that we have a responsibility to lead by example and to encourage, help, assist and communicate healthier life choices to our staff, patients and visitors.

"We see the effects of smoking related illness every day at Darent Valley and with the support of the public, we hope to make this hospital a better, cleaner and healthier environment for everybody."