NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.

This quality standard covers ways of reducing harm from smoking. In particular, this includes people who are highly dependent on nicotine and who may not be able (or want) to stop smoking in one step, who may want to stop smoking without giving up nicotine, who may want to reduce the amount they smoke without stopping, or who want to abstain temporarily from smoking.

The quality standard does not cover pregnant women or maternity services. Quality statement 5 in the NICE quality standard on antenatal care sets out the high‑quality requirements for ensuring that pregnant women who smoke are referred to an evidence-based ‘stop smoking’ service.

The quality standard should also be read alongside the NICE quality standards on smoking cessation: supporting people to stop smoking and smoking: reducing tobacco use.

For more information see the smoking: harm reduction topic overview.