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NICE Propose Smoking Ban Outside Hospitals

November 27, 2013
Public Health

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance that would ban staff and patients from smoking outside hospitals. NHS staff will be told not to smoke during working hours or at any time when they are ?recognisable as health service employees.?

If implemented, the guidance would apply to the NHS?s 1.3 million employees, with smoking shelters in hospital grounds removed and tobacco products no longer on sale in hospital shops.

Speaking about staff and patients smoking outside hospital buildings, NICE Director Mike Kelly said, ?It has been tolerated by the NHS and it?s high time it stopped. We need to end the terrible spectacle of people on drips in hospital gowns smoking outside hospital entrances.?

The new guidance is intended to ensure a consistent national programme, as a number of hospitals have already introduced similar measures. Hospital staff will be encouraged to advise patients about counselling to help to give up smoking as well as providing nicotine replacement therapies. The move has also been welcomed by the NHS Confederation, with spokesperson Stephen Dalton saying, “A total ban on smoking complements the duty of care on healthcare staff and the organisation to protect the health of people in their care and promote healthy behaviour.”

A copy of the full guidance PH48 Smoking cessation – acute, maternity and mental health services can be found at: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=byID&o=14306

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