Public Health

Smoking Cessation

Smoking is the greatest preventable cause of premature mortality and morbidity in the UK. In 2008 over 80,000 people in England died prematurely from a smoking-related disease.

Tobacco use is a risk factor in six of the eight leading causes of death in the world. Deaths from smoking are more numerous than the next six most common causes of preventable death combined; drug misuse, road accidents, other accidents and falls, preventable diabetes, suicide and alcohol abuse.

Over one in four of all cancers are attributable to tobacco use and 90% of lung cancer is directly attributable to smoking.

Smoking also harms non-smokers through the effects of second hand smoke, which causes lung cancer and heart disease in adults, cot death, glue ear and respiratory illness in children.

Smoking during pregnancy and infant exposure to tobacco smoke in the postnatal environment increases the risk of stillbirths and infant mortality.

Smokers who stop smoking live longer and are at a reduced risk of smoking related diseases.

The Trust is committed to improving smoking cessation rates across West Hertfordshire and help reduce smoking prevalence rates.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has a responsibility to provide a safe and health, smoke free environment to its employees, patients, visitors and contractors.  Smoke-free environments protect patients, the public and staff from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke and contribute to the reduction in smoking prevalence by triggering smoking cessation attempts and de-normalising smoking behaviour.

To sit alongside the Smoke Free Policy for Staff, the Trust has ratified a Smoke Free Policy for Patients and Visitors.

Aims of the Smoke Free Policy for Patients and Visitors include:

  • To apply to all patients, visitors and contractors and other persons who enter the Trust for any purpose whatsoever
  • Staff to be offered "brief intervention" training provided by NHS Hertfordshire
  • All patients and visitors to be informed the Trust has a smoke-free policy
  • Smoking is prohibited in all premises - permanent and temporary structures; the grounds of premises owned, leased or rented by the Trust including car parks
  • Patient information literature is available on three sites within the outpatient service
  • Smoking status of all patients attending an Outpatient clinic appointment will be recorded in their hospital notes
  • All patients will be asked to consent to be being referred to the Smoking Cessation Service
  • Inpatients will be offered Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
  • Pregnant ladies at each ante-natal appointment will be asked if they smoke and, with their consent, referred to the Smoking Cessation Service
  • The Trust letterhead will include the “smoke free” logo located to the bottom right of the page
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