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Background

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and illness, with second hand smoke causing significant short and longer term risks to health. In addition, Smoking materials are a primary source of ignition and cause fires.

The NHS has a duty to promote healthy behaviours and to protect people from harm. Everyone working, visiting, receiving care or living on NHS premises has a right to be in a completely smokefree environment.


Smokefree Policy

St Georges University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a designated smokefree site – this means smoking is not permitted anywhere on trust grounds including car parks and gardens.

Any person wishing to smoke should leave the hospital grounds to do so. This applies to patients, visitors and staff.

The smokefree policy aims to protect all patients, staff and visitors to the trust from dangers of second hand smoke.


Coming into hospital

Please do not bring tobacco or smoking material with you.

If you are coming in as a planned admission please speak to your local pharmacist, GP or stop smoking service about obtaining Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for use while you are here for;

  • support to quit, or
  • temporary abstinence if you are not ready to try and quit

Some (but not all) types of NRT are available from the wards – please speak to the staff or ask for a referral to the smoking cessation team for additional information or support while you are in hospital.


Benefits of stopping smoking

Giving up smoking before any planned hospital treatment is the most effective thing you can do to speed up your recovery.

For both planned and emergency admissions – stopping smoking once you have been admitted can shorten your stay and reduce the risk of complications.

After 20 minutes

  • Pulse rate returns to normal.

After 8 hours

  • Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by more than half and oxygen levels return to normal.

After 48 hours

  • Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.

After 48 hours

  • There is no nicotine in the body. Ability to taste and smell is improved.

After 72 hours

  • Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.

After 2-12 weeks

  • Your circulation improves.

After 3-9 months

  • Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%.

After 1 year

  • Risk of heart disease is about half compared with a person who is still smoking.

After 10 years

  • Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.

After 15 years

  • Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.

For more information, please go to: www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/


Services available

Stopping smoking with support and supervised use of medications increases your chances of successfully quitting by four times.

The hospital stop smoking service team can provide more advice and information before, during or after your admission. Call us on 020 8725 4234.

Ask your ward staff to refer you if you would like to be seen on the ward during your admission. (Ward staff please see referral form)


Out-patients or Pre/Post admission

You can attend one of the stop smoking support clinics:

  • Drop in clinics available to all visitors, out-patients and staff at the trust.
  • Providing FREE  friendly advice, support and encouragement with specialist trained advisors.
  • A choice of medications available free or on prescription.
St Georges Hospital
Ground Floor
Atkinson Morley Wing
Every Wednesday and Friday
10am to 3pm
Queen Marys’ Hospital
Ground Floor
Cardiology Outpatients
Every Tuesday
10am to 3pm

For more information call:

  •  020 8725 4234 or 07775 020 248 (during clinic times only) or
  • Wandsworth stop smoking team on 0800 389 7921

Other services

Stop Smoking London Helpline: 0300 123 0044 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm – Saturday & Sunday 11am to 4pm).

London wide stop smoking portal: london.stopsmokingportal.com – Information on local London borough services can be found here.

All stop smoking services should provide information and access to treatments for stopping smoking.

Further information on treatments available can be found at:

Or you can discuss the available options with your local stop smoking service or pharmacist


Further information sources