The NHS Shouldn’t Help Smokers to Smoke

This morning on BBC’s Breakfast program there was a news item that the NHS shouldn’t be in a position to help people to smoke while in hospital. It was pointed out that there’s an irony in the situation where 80 thousand people die in the UK each year from smoking related illnesses, costing the NHS over £2 billion pounds annually, and NHS staff are being compelled to help patients get to designated smoking areas at or near hospitals.

Quite often patients can be seen directly in front of NHS hospitals having a cigarette. The person being interviewed in the BBC news item didn’t suggest completely cutting patients off cigarettes while they stay in hospitals, but while in hospital options and support be provided and/or suggested to help people quit smoking.

I agree with this approach. I also feel strongly that hypnotherapy combined with cognitive therapy be provided as a option to NHS patients to help then quit smoking. Obviously, an NHS patient isn’t going to receive this level of support (hypnotherapy and cognitive therapy) while staying in hospital, although it certainly isn’t impossible, but these forms of effective therapy should be offered as options in a range options. Hypnotherapy provided in conjunction with cognitive therapy could save lives and save the NHS resources at the same time.