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Smoking is a major cause of preventable deaths and illnesses, and second-hand smoke poses significant short- and long-term health risks. In addition, cigarette materials are a source of ignition and cause fires.

The NHS has a responsibility to promote healthy behaviors and protect people from harm. Everyone who works, visits, looks after or lives in NHS buildings has the right to be completely smoke-free.


Non-smoking policy

St Georges University Hospitals is a smoke-free site designated by the NHS Foundation Trust – which means that smoking is not allowed anywhere in safe areas, including parking lots and parks.

Anyone who wants to smoke must leave the hospital to do so. This applies to patients, visitors and staff.

The non-smoking policy aims to protect all patients, staff and trusted visitors from the dangers of second-hand smoke.


Come to the hospital

Please do not bring tobacco or cigarettes with you.

If you come as a scheduled admission, please talk to your local pharmacist, GP, or stop smoking to get a Nicotine Substitution Treatment (NRT) to use while you are here;

  • support to exit or
  • If you are not ready to try and quit, temporary abstinence

Some (but not all) types of NRT are available in wards – please talk to staff or ask a smoking cessation team for more information or support while you are in the hospital.


Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking before any scheduled hospital treatment is the most effective thing you can do to speed recovery.

For both scheduled and emergency admissions – smoking cessation after admission can shorten the stay and reduce the risk of complications.

After 20 minutes

  • Heart rate returns to normal.

After 8 hours

  • Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood are reduced by more than half and oxygen levels return to normal.

After 48 hours

  • Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. The lungs begin to clear mucus and other cigarette butts.

After 48 hours

  • There is no nicotine in the body. Improves taste and smell.

After 72 hours

  • It’s easier to breathe. The bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels rise.

After 2-12 weeks

  • Your blood circulation improves.

After 3-9 months

  • Cough, wheezing, and respiratory problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%.

After 1 year

  • The risk of heart disease is still about half that of a smoker.

After 10 years

  • The risk of lung cancer is half the risk of smokers.

After 15 years

  • The risk of heart attack is the same as a person who never smokes.

For more information, visit: www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/


Services are available

With the support and control of medication, quitting smoking quadruples your chances of successfully quitting.

The hospital’s smoking cessation service team can provide more advice and information before, during, or after your appointment. Call us 020 8725 4234.

If you want to appear in the ward during the reception, ask the ward staff to contact you. Note to employees: Patients can be referred using ICLiP, just search in the Orders section for “Quit Smoking”.


Outpatient or before / after admission

You can contact one of the smoking cessation support clinics:

  • Visit clinics available for all visitors, outpatients, and trustees.
  • FREE friendly advice, support and encouragement with expert trained consultants.
  • The choice of medication is available free of charge or with a prescription.
St. Georges Hospital
Downstairs
Atkinson Morley Wing
Every Wednesday and Friday
10:00 – 15:00
Queen Mary’s Hospital
Downstairs
Cardiology Ambulatory
Every Tuesday
10:00 – 15:00

For more information, call:

  • 020 8725 4234 or 07775 020 248 (only during the clinic) or
  • The Wandsworth team stops smoking 0800 389 7921

Other services

Stop Smoking London Helpline: 0300 123 0044 (Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:00 – Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 16:00).

London wide parking smoking portal: london.stopsmokingportal.com – Information about local services in London can be found here.

All smoking cessation services should provide information and treatment options to stop smoking.

You can get additional information about the available treatments at the following address:

Or you can discuss the available options with your local smoking cessation service or pharmacist


Additional information sources