The NHS must be smoke free by the end of 2006 (Department of Health, 2004). The necessary elements to introducing a smoke-free policy, which is workable and equitable, are the management of the policy and offering support to smokers. Smoking and second-hand smoking are responsible for many illnesses, premature deaths and reduced productivity. Employers have a responsibility to ensure the health of their employees by protecting them from exposure to cigarette smoke in the workplace. Although smoking restrictions in the workplace are popular, it is important to ensure good communication with everyone who will be affected, since there are many fears associated with the introduction of the policy. Help must be offered to people who wish to quit through behavioural and pharmacological interventions and support must also be given to the smoker who must abstain from smoking on the premises during work or hospital stay.
Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London.