- thousands are admitted to hospital because of smoking-related conditions every day
- new Public Health England (PHE) survey shows more NHS Trusts are now smokefree than ever before
- PHE calls for all Trusts to ensure total smoking bans on hospital grounds
Public Health England (PHE) has found that Trusts are making steady progress in becoming smokefree, with smoking now banned completely on the grounds of more than two thirds (69%) of NHS acute Trusts in England. Yet despite this progress, almost a third (31%) have not yet enforced total smoking bans across hospital premises.
The survey was carried out as part of PHE’s Smokefree NHS campaign, which encourages all hospitals to provide smokefree environments as part of supporting smokers to quit and reducing tobacco-related harms. The NHS Five Year Forward View included a commitment for all Trusts to have fully smokefree sites by spring 2020.
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive, Public Health England said:
One in four hospital beds are occupied by a smoker, and most of them want to quit. Many patients or visitors will be going through difficult times, but smoking remains England’s biggest preventable killer and it is time for the NHS to stop smoking within its hospital grounds, everywhere.
It cannot be right that it is more acceptable in some hospitals to smoke at the front door than it is outside a pub.
As well as encouraging Trusts to prohibit smoking on site, the Smokefree NHS campaign calls for all patients who smoke to be offered evidence-based quitting support. The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, commits to offering NHS-funded tobacco treatment services to all inpatients who smoke, regardless of why they are in hospital, by 2023 to 2024.