Launch of NHS smoke free pledge

Date published: 11 January 2018

Organisations across the NHS and public health gathered in Parliament on Thursday (11 January) to declare support for a smoke free NHS.

NHS organisations signing the NHS Smokefree Pledge are making a commitment to help smokers in their care to quit and create smokefree environments that support them to do so.

Smoking is the leading cause of premature death and disease, and kills 79,000 people every year. The NHS has a key role to play in reducing the number of people who smoke, yet smoking places a major burden on the NHS with one in four patients in hospital smoking . The Government estimates that the cost of smoking to the NHS in England is £2.5 billion every year. 

The commitments in the NHS smoke free pledge include: 

  • Treat tobacco dependency among patients and staff who smoke as set out in the Tobacco Control Plan for England.
  • Ensure that smokers within the NHS have access to the medication they need to quit in line with NICE guidance on smoking in secondary care. 
  • Create environments that support quitting through implementing smoke free policies as recommended by NICE.

Steve Brine, Public Health Minister, said: “While smoking rates are at an all-time low, it is still our country’s biggest preventable killer - so we are absolutely committed to helping people quit for life.

“The NHS smoke free pledge supports the bold ambitions set out in our new Tobacco Control Plan. It is fantastic to see the NHS making such a powerful statement to help us push for a smokefree generation.”

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “Most smokers want to quit and we are seeing good progress on lower smoking rates. To build on this we would now like to see NHS organisations across the country sign up to the NHS Smokefree Pledge.”


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