Public Health England wants to make all hospitals smoke-free zones

February 28th, 2017

shutterstock_250522321-8049Public Health England has called for all hospitals in England to be made smoke-free zones. Currently, only 1 in 10 hospitals ban smoking on NHS grounds and the body wants to see a total ban enforced.

Chief executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, said that the move wasn’t designed to force patients to quit smoking, but rather to encourage them to try and give up. Currently, more than a million people who smoke are admitted to NHS hospitals each year, and the group believes that introducing a ban would have a positive impact on standards of health. In addition to a smoking ban, PHE has also called for hospitals to provide support for patients who want to give up smoking as part of their treatment plan.

A report, which has been compiled by the British Thoracic Society claims that 25 percent of patients are smokers, which is significantly higher than the rate of smokers in general society. The latest statistics show that 19 percent of adults in the UK smoke. The report also found that the majority of patients who smoke are not asked whether they would like to give up and 50 percent of frontline NHS workers have not been offered training in smoking cessation. The society described cessation services for patients as “woefully lacking” and said that there was a lot to do to improve the situation, and encourage as many patients as possible to try and quit smoking.

Mr Selbie said that the aim of proposed measures would not be to force people to quit, but rather to ensure that those who did want to try received the relevant help and support. If you get help with giving up, research shows that you’re up to 4 times more likely to succeed.

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