Becoming truly smokefree: making hospitals a place to go to get better

‘No matter how long you’ve smoked for, no matter how many cigarettes you smoke a day, your health will start to improve as soon as you quit.’ 

Our Co-founder, Becky shares our plan to help create a ‘truly smokefree’ environment across Northern Lincolnshire and Goole.

In the UK we have made great progress on reducing prevalence of tobacco use and raising public awareness about the harm of smoking. Take a look at the fantastic work happening in the Yorkshire and Humber region to inspire a smokefree generation.

But hospitals, the places we go to get better, need to do more to support patients to stop smoking and free themselves of their tobacco dependence.

We’re pleased to tell you that Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust is using National No Smoking Day (11 March) to announce bold plans to become a truly smokefree environment, by offering proactive support to treat people with tobacco dependence.

With one of the highest smoking rates in England, Magpie is working with the trust in partnership with Scott Crosby, Health Improvement Manager at Public Health England and Dr Bridgette Bewick from University of Leeds to deliver positive change.

There are currently over 55,000 smokers in the area, costing £7.4m due to 4,190 hospital admissions for smoking related-related conditions.  The wider local NHS cost is nearer to £7.2 million.

 

The upcoming campaign will give smokers accessing hospitals in Goole, Grimsby and Scunthorpe the motivation and encouragement to quit; and staff, the knowledge to talk more confidently with their patients about smoking and the support available to help them stop.

We aim to create a social movement that empowers people use an upcoming hospital visit as a reason to commit to a quit, and celebrates individuals and communities supporting one another to do so. (Why not take a look at one of our other stop smoking campaigns Today is the Day, a campaign built around Smokefree.gov’s advice that the best way to prepare for a quit is to commit to the quit, and set a quit date).

 So how is this one different to other smokefree hospital campaigns?

Typically, a hospital’s smokefree policy sits within the Estates departments, but becoming truly smokefree is bigger than installing smoking shelters and no smoking signs. In a moment of stress or heartache is a sign going to change behaviour? Probably not.

But creating a culture that properly supports non-smoking can. A whole system approach where communications help patients prepare for a smokefree stay; a workforce is empowered and confident to give advice to patients and each other; where NRT medication and bedside support are readily available to everyone; the grounds are completely tobacco-free and only vaping is allowed (see Public Health England’s guidance); all within a community that is proud of one another’s efforts to quit.

People are four times more likely to quit smoking when connected with a hospital stay. So, with our partners, it is our duty to capitalise on that and offer people the all-round support they need to give up for good.

We really can help individuals leave a hospital with better health outcomes.

Has this post got you thinking? Why not make your pledge to inspire a smokefree generation, at: breathe2025.org.uk/pledge 

If you’re interested in learning more about our approach to behaviour change, or our work around tobacco dependence, just get in touch with Becky at: becky@wearemagpie.com