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Always offer smoking cessation

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Never too late to quit Never too late to quit: take advantage of routine appointments to speak to patients about their smoking status, using the VBA approach to start the conversation

Public Health England wants to see a tobacco-free generation by 2025. Despite a continuing decline in smoking rates, nearly one in five adults still smokes and there are around 90,000 regular smokers aged between 11 and 15.1

Smoking and passive smoking are the most commonly encountered and easily identifiable risk factors for many long-term conditions.

Smoking cessation is seen by many as a public health issue – a lifestyle choice that can prevent ill health. While prevention is important and should be strongly encouraged, the reality is that there are many smokers who are already sick and need evidence-based treatment.

A recent report has found that NHS hospitals are falling short on measures to help patients, staff and visitors quit smoking.2 The British Thoracic Society study found that 72% of hospital patients who smoked were not asked if they would like to quit, while just 8% were referred to hospital or community stop smoking services. More than a quarter (27%) of patients were not asked about their smoking status at all.

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