It is estimated that around 460,000 adult admissions to NHS hospitals in England every year are due to smoking. Treating diseases caused by smoking costs the NHS more than £2.6 billion per year, despite the fact that smoking is preventable and treatable.
Many hospital admissions, therefore, are an avoidable drain on scarce NHS resources, but the proportion of smokers who receive treatment for smoking are low.
In November 2013, NICE published guidance on smoking cessation in secondary care recommending the routine and systematic delivery of cessation support to all smokers using acute, maternity and mental health services. Patients who smoke (including roll-ups, cigars and pipes) should be offered smoking cessation drugs, nicotine patches, and counselling as soon as they are admitted to encourage them to quit.
NHS staff, visitors, and family members should also be encouraged to stop smoking as part of a cultural shift in the way in which the NHS tackles smoking, according to the guidance.
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