I’m a patient
If you are in hospital for more than a day, the clinician who admits you will arrange for you to receive a fast acting nicotine product, then sometime within the next day one of our tobacco dependency treatment team will come and visit you on the ward.
If you decide that you want to use this as an opportunity to stop smoking, your advisor will talk you through your options and set you up with your own tailored quit plan. This can include the use of nicotine products such as patches, mouth sprays and lozenges, or you may choose to use a vaping device. Either way you will receive advice on how to avoid and deal with cravings, information about stopping smoking and how this positively affects your body and mind, and support with understanding your way out of tobacco dependence.
If you do not wish to stop smoking at this time, then your advisor can talk to you about the options you have for managing your nicotine dependence during your stay. We would of course really like you to stop, so we will also talk to you about your options when you are discharged. After all, we wouldn’t be doing our job right if we didn’t show you that we care.
Support when I go home
Everyone who has stayed smokefree in hospital and wishes to carry on when they go home will be provided with continued support.
Your advisor will make sure you have medication to take home and will check in with you after you’ve been discharged to see how you are getting on.
They will also offer to refer you to your local stop smoking service who will continue providing dedicated support and ongoing nicotine replacement therapy prescriptions. If any of your friends and family are inspired by you staying smokefree, local stop smoking services can also support them to stop, so you can all enjoy improved health and more money together!
What about vaping?
As vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking, if you cannot stop smoking using support and medication alone, then we recommend swapping to a vape as a way to stop smoking entirely.
NICE guidance NG209 recommends the use of vaping as a complete replacement for smoking, and whilst it recognises that vaping may not be entirely risk free, it is certainly far less harmful than continuing to smoke.
There is no safe level of tobacco smoking, and guidance recommends that if you vape, you should stop smoking entirely to minimise your risk. Continue to vape for as long as you need to, to avoid relapsing back to smoking tobacco. Over time, the nicotine can be reduced in a vaping device until you no longer need any.
For further information see the NCSCT e-cigarette guide and Public Health England’s information on e-cigarettes and vaping).