Pharmacy minister Steve Brine has joined NHS England and Public Health England chief executives in endorsing the NHS Smokefree Pledge – designed to be a “clear and visible way for NHS organisations to show their commitment to helping smokers to quit”. 

The Pledge, which was launched by the Smokefree Action Coalition, is an update to the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control. All NHS organisations are encouraged to sign up. No formal steps are required, the Coalition says; organisations need only commit to the actions listed in the Pledge, have a copy of it signed by a senior executive, then display it prominently.

Biggest preventable killer

Mr Brine said: “While smoking rates are at an all-time low, it is still our country’s biggest preventable killer – so we are absolutely committed to helping people quit for life. The NHS Smokefree Pledge supports the bold ambitions set out in our new Tobacco Control Plan. It is fantastic to see the NHS making such a powerful statement to help us push for a smokefree generation.”

PHE chief executive Duncan Selbie said: “The NHS admits a patient every minute because of a smoking-related disease and one in four beds are occupied by a smoker. Given that most smokers want to quit, this is an unparalleled opportunity for NHS staff to do all possible to help them quit. NHS England has committed hospitals and mental health services to become truly smokefree by 2019 and I am delighted that the Smokefree Action Coalition has made it possible for each of them to publicly pledge their commitment to this.”

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