We are a Smokefree Trust
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust went smokefree in January 2007. This means that smoking and vaping is prohibited in all areas of Trust, including all buildings, doorways, grounds and car parks.
The Trust has in place a smokefree policy. The purpose of the smokefree policy is to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of all patients, employees, visitors and contractors.
Smoking puts patients at risk of complications and delays their recovery after hospital procedures. Smokefree hospitals and grounds creates a smokefree environment for people trying to stop smoking and removes triggers that cause many to smoke or relapse to smoking.
What is the NHS Staff Smokefree Service?
Our Smokefree service is free, friendly and can massively boost your chances of quitting for good. The NHS Staff Smokefree Service has specifically been set up to support current NHS staff to abstain from smoking whilst at work and/or to quit smoking altogether. Our service is staffed by expert Specialist Stop Smoking Practitioners who can provide a range of proven methods to help you quit.
They'll give you accurate information and advice, as well as professional support, during the first few months of you stopping smoking.
What can you expect?
- NHS staff qualify for free nicotine replacement therapy for up to 12 weeks.
- The service will also provide an in-house motivational 12-week support programme.
- All NHS staff who smoke will be entitled to use 30 minutes of paid work time to attend their first stop smoking clinic appointment ands subsequent follow up appointments throughout their programme.
- Staff not ready to quit smoking will still have access to free nicotine replacement therapy to help them abstain during working hours.
One-to-one and group stop smoking sessions
You'll normally be offered a one-to-one appointment with a practitioner but may also be offered group and drop-in sessions as well dependant on your needs and preference.
Using both treatment and specialist support is proven to give you the best chance of stopping smoking.
The majority of people who see a practitioner will get through the first month after quitting without smoking a cigarette.
Overall, you're up to 3 times more likely to stop smoking for good if you use a combination of stop smoking treatment and receive support from an NHS Stop Smoking Service.
What happens at the first stop smoking session?
At your first meeting with a practitioner, you'll talk about why you smoke and why you want to quit, as well as any attempts you've made to quit in the past. You'll also be able to decide on a quit date.
You'll be offered a breath test, which shows the level of carbon monoxide – a poisonous gas in cigarette smoke – in your body.
You don't need to be sure you want to quit or have a quit plan in mind before this meeting.
You can use the time to talk your situation through with the practitioner without making a commitment. If you do decide to quit, the practitioner can help you form an action plan and set a quit date, usually in a week or so.
Stop smoking aids
At your first session, you'll also discuss any NHS-endorsed stop smoking treatments available to help you.
These are nicotine replacement products (including patches, gum, lozenges, inhalators and mouth sprays).
No one is forced to use treatment, but we'll encourage it because the results are better. We can help you decide which type of treatment is right for you and how to use it.
We will directly supply you with the treatment before you leave, or we can arrange for you to receive this via a local pharmacy.
There's evidence that e-cigarettes can help people stop smoking. E-cigarettes aren't currently available as medicines so they can't be supplied by stop smoking services or prescribed on the NHS.
But if you want to use an e-cigarette to help you quit, you can still get advice and support from our Specialist Stop Smoking Practitioners to give you the best chance of success.
Read more about using e-cigarettes to stop smoking.
NHS Specialist Stop Smoking Practitioners only provide evidence-based support. We won't suggest or recommend hypnosis or acupuncture as there's not enough evidence they help you stop smoking.
As a general rule, you'll have weekly face-to-face or phone contact with your practitioner for the first 4 weeks after you quit smoking, then less frequently for a further 8 weeks.
At each meeting, you'll receive a supply of nicotine replacement therapy if you're using it and have your carbon monoxide level measured.
You’ll have access to the ‘My Quit Route’ app for out-of-hours times to help you cope with cravings and avoid lighting up if you’re struggling.
Going on the 12-week programme requires you to commit to not having a single puff of a cigarette, measuring carbon monoxide levels isn't about checking up on you. It's more to motivate you to stay smoke-free by showing how your body is already recovering.
Specialist Stop Smoking Practitioners can also help you identify difficult situations when there may be a strong temptation to relapse and start smoking and they can help you come up with ways to cope with or avoid these situations.
If you do relapse, we won't judge or nag you or take it personally. We're a friendly face that understands how difficult it is to quit, and we'll help you get back on track to becoming a non-smoker.
There are many benefits associated with stopping smoking and everyone has their own reason to quit. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your overall health and boost your finances:
- Improve your mental wellbeing by reducing anxiety and discomfort caused by withdrawal symptoms.
- Lower your risk of getting a long-term smoking-related disease (such as heart disease, cancer, COPD, high blood pressure and stroke).
- Have more money to spend on you and your family (on average a 20-a-day smoker spends more than £3,500 a year).
- Get health benefits shortly after stopping smoking (e.g. your blood pressure will show improvements after just 20 minutes smokefree).
It’s never too late to stop smoking, even if you have a long-term condition, such as heart or lung disease.
Whilst it isn’t possible to reverse the damage caused by smoking, you’ll gain numerous health benefits and feel better if you stop smoking.
If you’re over 35, the risk of developing a long-term smoking-related health condition increases. The good news is that the sooner you quit you’ll prevent the onset of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, vascular disease and respiratory disease (e.g. COPD) and a whole range of cancers.