NHS hospitals and clinics should become completely smoke-free to create a culture where smoking is no longer considered the norm, says NICE.
Patients who smoke should be offered smoking cessation drugs, nicotine patches, and counselling as soon as they are admitted to an acute, maternity or mental health setting to encourage them to quit.
NHS staff, visitors, and family members should also be encouraged to stop smoking as part of a cultural shift in the way in which the NHS tackles smoking.
Smoking shelters and other designated smoking areas should all be removed from secondary settings as part of the smoke-free plans.
“It is absurd that smoking is still being passively encouraged within hospitals,” said Professor Mike Kelly, director of public health at NICE.
“We need to end the terrible spectacle of people on drips in hospital gowns smoking outside hospital entrances. This new guidance can help make that contradiction a thing of the past by supporting hospital smoke-free policies to make NHS secondary care an exemplar for promoting healthy behaviour.
“Smoking has been thought to be a difficult nut to crack and so it is high time for this guidance. It recommends strong leadership and individual trusts have to own this. The professionals have to be willing to take this guidance on.”