Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is now totally smoke-free

The Trust has created a campaign to help smokers quit

Patients, visitors an staff are no longer permitted to smoke, or vape on outdoor premises at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D).

Monday, August 3, marked the day that Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust went totally smoke-free.

The change will bring the L&D in line with Bedford Hospital, which became a smoke-free site in April 2019.

Zahid Ullah, from Central Bedfordshire Council; Cllr Khtija Malik, Luton Borough Council; Mr Paul Tisi, from Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Sarah Simmonds, from Active Luton, and Yvonne Wimbleton, from Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Trust aims to promote a healthy environment and lifestyle, for everyone in both hospitals, and this includes all patients, visitors and staff.

Dr Syed Tariq, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, said: “As a health service dedicated to treating and preventing illness, we cannot allow smoking in our hospitals when it has been proven to cause disease and premature death.

"Lung cancer is one of many serious conditions caused by smoking, with more than 70% of cases occurring in smokers or ex-smokers.”

Smoking is one of the most common causes of heart disease and lung cancer, and increases the risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions.

A campaign, supported by Total Wellbeing Luton, Luton Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council, has been devised by the Trust to help smokers quit.

This includes encouraging them to accept a referral to their local stop smoking service, offering Nicotine Replacement Therapy to all inpatients and promoting local stop smoking services commissioned by the local authorities.

Both councils offer local smoking cessation services which will be available to staff, patients and visitors, in order to help them improve their health and quit smoking long-term, and in the short term, play their part in respecting our new smoke-free environment.

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Cllr Tracey Stock added: “You are up to three times more likely to quit if you use a combination of Stop Smoking medication with specialist help and support from your local Stop Smoking Service.

"Every smoker is an individual and so is their journey to quitting smoking.

"We offer free, professional, non-judgmental one-to-one support and a range of different medications to help beat cravings, so get in touch today.”

To contact your local stop smoking service for advice and support text QUIT to 88802.