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RCP welcomes NHS plan to help smokers admitted to hospital to quit

RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard has welcomed NHS England's new plan to offer every smoker admitted to hospital help to quit.

The new measure will be introduced as part of the secondary prevention measures in the NHS Long Term Plan, due to be launched on Monday. The RCP called for its introduction in the 2018 report Hiding in plain sight, which underlined why helping people in hospital to give up smoking can save lives, improve health and save NHS resources.

Professor Goddard said: 

We welcome the Long Term Plan’s commitment to offer help to quit for every smoker admitted to hospital, as recommended in our 2018 report Hiding in plain sight.

Helping people give up smoking is a cost-effective means of both improving health and reducing demand on NHS services in the future. Every contact a health professional has with a patient is an opportunity to help the patient give up smoking – having a system in place to treat tobacco dependency with allocated funding will help make it happen.

Professor Goddard also welcomed the new focus on the management of alcohol-related disease:

It is an increasing problem in our hospitals where many patients first come to the attention of the NHS. We mustn't forget prevention though and further measures to reduce harmful drinking are much needed.

The NHS Long Term Plan is a 10-year strategy drawn up by frontline staff, patients groups and national experts. It aims to provide high-quality lifesaving treatment and care for patients and their families, reduce pressure on NHS staff and deliver investment in exciting new technologies.