New quit smoking service launched on World No Tobacco Day – North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

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Tuesday 31 May is World No Tobacco Day – a day of global action to tackle addiction to smoking and its devastating impact on health.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will now be asking every in-patient if they smoke and will offer them free Nicotine replacement products (NRT) to manage their cravings.

The new Tobacco Dependency Treatment Service, to be launched on World No Tobacco Day is a team of specialist advisors who will support ward staff to coordinate the support for smokers while in hospital and upon discharge.

Julie Bardsley, tobacco dependency specialist lead

Julie Bardsley, tobacco dependency specialist lead, said: “We want every patient to have the very best outcome at this hospital and the chances of a healthy recovery greatly improve when a patient stops smoking. Smoking can harm your chances of a quick and successful recovery.

“Many people are in hospital because of smoking-related illness, and if they continue to smoke it’s likely they’ll take longer to recover. Evidence shows it can also weaken the immune system, leaving people more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

“As part of our smokefree commitment, patients and staff will be given the tools and support they need to help them stop smoking.”

A key area of focus for the team is supporting pregnant women who smoke by engaging with them in the community and offering support specific to their needs.

Tobacco Dependency Treatment Services are a commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to ensure that inpatients in hospital or who are engaged with maternity services are screened for smoking and offered treatment to stop as part of routine care while in hospital.

Tobacco Dependency Treatment Service information

Smoking facts:

• Smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of death and illness in England, with around 506,000 hospital admissions a year. Smokers on average lose 10 years of life compared to non-smokers from tobacco caused diseases.
• Smoking causes 16 types of cancer including lung cancer, COPD, diabetes, heart attack and stroke, diabetes and dementia.
• Smoking weakens the immune system and makes smokers more vulnerable to infectious diseases like influenza and Covid.
• At least one in every two long term smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease

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