South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust signed a national pledge to go smokefree from 1 April 2019.

While the trust’s hospital sites were already designated as no smoking areas, this latest move sees South Tees commit to:

  • Routinely offer smoking cessation advice to patients in all clinical areas and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to all inpatients
  • Systematically record the smoking status of all patients
  • Provide smoking cessation training for staff
  • Provide a stop smoking support programme for staff
  • Ensure NRT is easily accessible from nearby pharmacies
  • Promote smokefree hospital sites – including entrances and exits

Protecting the health of our patients, staff and visitors

As part of our smokefree commitment, patients and staff will be given the tools and support they need to help them stop smoking. For example nicotine replacement therapy is now available on all of our wards and smokefree training is available to all staff as well as a 12-week stop smoking support programme.

We’re proud to be taking this step and are actively encouraging staff to start conversations about smoking with patients and to signpost them to local stop smoking support services where appropriate.

If you’re a patient, you have a lower risk of serious complications after operations if you don’t smoke. Quitting smoking helps people recover quicker from periods of illness or injury and have a lower risk of re-admission. People who don’t smoke also have a lower risk of wound infections and have a better chance of a shorter stay in hospital. We also know that patients undergoing cancer treatment like radiotherapy, also have better outcomes if they don’t smoke or stop smoking.

We want people to understand that there is no smoking allowed anywhere on our hospital sites, including the grounds. If anyone is seen smoking on our premises, our staff have the right to respectfully request for them to stop and extinguish their cigarette.

Did you know?

  • Over 8 million people in England smoke. Smoking continues to be the major cause of premature death, with nearly 80,000 smoking related deaths every year.
  • The cost of smoking to the NHS has been estimated at over £2.7 billion, with second-hand smoking costing the NHS a further £217 million per year.
  • Smoking is the main cause of preventable ill health and early death in our community. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals in the form of particles and gases, and about 60 are known or suspected to cause cancer.

Is vaping safe?

You may be aware of the recent media coverage from the USA in relation to vaping (also known as electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes), including reported cases of lung disease and the subsequent bans of flavoured e-liquids.

In response to concerns following media reports Public Health England has issued the following statement:

“Amidst reports of an outbreak in the US of serious lung disease that was reported as linked to vaping, smokers may well be wondering if e-cigarettes are still a good way to quit.

“A full investigation is not yet available but indications are that these cases have been linked to people using illicit vaping fluid bought on the streets or homemade, some containing cannabis products like THC or synthetic cannabinoids like Spice, and others Vitamin E acetate oil.

“This is not the same as using UK regulated nicotine products. Unlike the US, all e-cigarette products in the UK are tightly regulated for quality and safety by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and they operate the Yellow Card Scheme, encouraging vapers to report any adverse effects.

“Public Health England’s advice remains that vaping carries a small fraction of the risk of smoking. Using a nicotine-containing e-cigarette makes it much more likely someone will quit successfully than relying on willpower alone – three studies this year have found them twice as effective as NRT alone. But it’s important to use UK-regulated e-liquids and never risk vaping home-made or illicit e-liquids or adding substances.”

Maternity services lead the way

Maternity services are leading the way, working in partnership with local authorities and stop smoking services. Together they have already achieved smoking reduction by using the evidenced-based BabyClear model – offering Nicotine replacement on admission to hospital and rolling out stop smoking support to all clinical areas.

Figures show that the numbers of women smoking at delivery at South Tees reduced to 17.2% in the first half of the 2017/18 financial year, improving 36% since 2011/12 – the biggest drop in the region and double what has been achieved nationally!

Find out more…

Quit for COVID leaflet (922kb)
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