Next review date: November 2016

This guidance partially updates and replaces NICE guideline PH10 (2008).

Stopping smoking at any time has considerable health benefits and for people using secondary care services, there are additional advantages including shorter hospital stays and fewer complications. Secondary care providers have a duty of care to protect the health of, and promote healthy behaviour among, people who use, or work in, their services.

This guidance aims to support smoking cessation, temporary abstinence from smoking and smokefree policies in all secondary care settings. It recommends:

  • Strong leadership and management to ensure premises remain smokefree.
  • All hospitals have an on-site stop smoking service.
  • Identifying people who smoke, offering advice and support to stop.
  • Providing intensive behavioural support and pharmacotherapy as an integral component of secondary care.
  • Integrating stop smoking support in secondary care with support provided by community-based services.
  • Ensuring staff are trained to support people to stop smoking while using secondary care services.
  • Supporting staff to stop smoking or to abstain while at work.
  • Ensuring there are no designated smoking areas or staff-facilitated smoking breaks for anyone using secondary care services.

This guideline was previously called smoking cessation in secondary care: acute, maternity and mental health services.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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