Frontline healthcare workers are being urged to take action to help members of the public quit smoking and help the NHS to save money.
Public Health England (PHE) is urging all NHS frontline staff to take advantage of free online training to help them deliver effective stop smoking advice.
Ann Crawford, deputy director health improvement at PHE East Midlands, said: “Every year smoking costs the NHS in England a staggering £2.6billion and in the East Midlands alone causes around 7,452 deaths. And for every death, a further 20 smokers are suffering from a smoking-related disease.
“Smokers respond well to healthcare staff giving advice and as health professionals we have a duty to take every opportunity to help end the needless, preventable misery and suffering smoking causes.
“A truly smoke free NHS isn’t just about banning smoking on hospital grounds, it’s about healthcare staff doing all they can to encourage patients and visitors, as well as colleagues to lead by example, to stop.
“The good news is that the training is easily accessible and effective. We’re seeing record breaking successful quit rates this year. Most smokers want to quit and all healthcare staff should seize the moment and be ready to intervene and have that crucial chat about smoking.”
Each patient referred to stop smoking services and prescribed nicotine replacement therapy costs the service £13 each year for four years.
PHE is encouraging all healthcare staff to undertake a 30 minute online course, provided by the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training.