As part of the Trust’s commitment to helping smokers quit and providing smokefree environments that support them, senior executives at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals are re-signing the NHS Smokefree Pledge. Chief Executive Trish Armstrong-Child, re-signed the pledge today to demonstrate her responsibility in reducing the health disparities related to smoking in our community and its overall impact on the NHS.
The NHS Smokefree Pledge aims to be a clear and visible way for NHS organisations to show their commitment to helping smokers to quit and to providing smokefree environments which support quitting. Our Fylde Coast Smokefree Services signed the NHS Smokefree Pledge in November of 2018, committing to reduce the harm caused by tobacco through implementing our Trust’s smokefree policy. The NHS Smokefree Pledge was relaunched to bring it into line with the Government’s ambition for England to be smokefree by 2030 and commitments made to improve smoking cessation support available through the NHS in the NHS Long Term Plan.
On 10th January 2023, The Fylde Coast Smokefree Services came together for an outreach event at the Trust to raise awareness of the Trust being a smokefree site. The event was a resounding success, and over 250 signed pledges from staff & visitors to show their commitment to supporting a smokefree NHS. The engagement event also showed fellow NHS colleagues and Hospital visitors what support is available to them as an inpatient, a visitor or NHS staff if they wanted to quit smoking.
Why does the NHS Smokefree Pledge matter?
In England alone, almost 75,000 people die from smoking related diseases each year. Smoking accounts for over one-third of all deaths from respiratory disease, one quarter of all deaths from cancer and over one tenth of all deaths caused by circulatory diseases. On average, smoking reduces life expectancy by 10 years. If hospitalised, people who smoke are more likely to require longer stays and need intensive care after surgery.
Thus, smoking creates an inevitable cost to society and to the NHS. ASH estimates that smoking costs the NHS approximately £2.4 billion each year through smoking-related hospital admissions and the cost of treating smoking related illness via primary care services. Delivering the commitments in the NHS Smokefree Pledge will not only bring us closer to national targets to reduce smoking rates but can ultimately save tens of thousands of lives and billions of pounds in NHS resources.