7 September 2022
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) is taking the next step on the road to supporting patients who smoke.
The Trust, which provides mental health and learning disabilities services across County Durham, Darlington, Teesside, part of North Yorkshire, York and Selby, is launching its Tobacco Dependency Treatment Service from Wednesday 7 September.
The service will include a team of advisors who will support ward staff to manage the cravings of smokers while in hospital and upon discharge.
All patients being admitted to TEWV will be asked if they smoke and offered free Nicotine replacement products (NRT) or a free e-cigarette on arrival to manage their cravings whilst in hospital.
Tobacco Dependency Treatment Services are a commitment in the NHS long term plan to ensure that inpatients in hospital or who are engaged with maternity services are screened for smoking and offered treatment to stop as part of routine care while in hospital.
Smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of death and illness in England, with around 506,000 hospital admissions a year. Smokers on average lose 10 years of life compared to non-smokers from tobacco caused diseases.
- Smoking causes 16 types of cancer including lung cancer, COPD, diabetes, heart attack and stroke, diabetes and dementia.
- Smoking weakens the immune system and makes smokers more vulnerable to infectious diseases like influenza and Covid.
- At least 1 in every 2 long term smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease.
Tobacco dependency treatment service lead at the Trust, Lesley Colley, said: “People with a mental health illness tend to smoke more than other people, meaning they are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of smoking.
“Currently, 48% of adult TEWV patients with a mental health condition smoke. It’s a common belief that smoking helps you relax, but smoking actually increases feelings of stress and anxiety.
“As part of our smoke-free commitment, we’re now able to provide dedicated advice, tools and support to patients and staff across our services to help them stop smoking and we hope to see this figure reduce significantly over the next few years.”