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Stopping Smoking and QUIT programme

Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable deaths, disability, illness and social inequality. We are working with the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS) to implement the QUIT programme. 

QUIT is a comprehensive tobacco addiction treatment programme being implemented in all NHS Trusts in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, in partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research, five local authorities and local Stop Smoking Services. It recognises that smoking is an addiction, not a habit or a lifestyle choice, but a chronic, relapsing disease, that often starts in childhood.

QUIT aims to transform the way smoking is tackled by the NHS by offering all patients aged 12 years or over who smoke access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), such as patches, gum and lozenges, and specialist support as part of their routine hospital care.

Sheffield Children’s is now rolling out its own QUIT scheme, initially in Wards 1 and 3, Theatre Admission Unit and Pre-op but with other areas of the Trust to follow. The Tobacco Treatment Team will focus on these areas to begin with but if any patient or parent on another ward would like support then they can be referred to the Tobacco Treatment Team.

QUIT for patients

As part of the admissions process patients aged 12 and above will be asked if they smoke, or vape. Any who say they do will be referred to the hospital’s team of specialist Tobacco Treatment Advisors and will be offered appropriate stop smoking support. The discussions will take place in private and any information volunteered will be dealt with in strict confidence.

Video representing the screening discussion with a young patient

QUIT for parents and carers

Parents, carers and family members who smoke can also access specialist support during the child’s admission and they can receive free NRT from an onward referral to the local community stop smoking service.

Video representing the screening discussion with a parent/carer

Community-based stop smoking services will play a key role, ensuring medication and support is continued after patients leave hospital to give them and their family members the best chance of beating their tobacco addiction.

QUIT for staff

Trust staff who also want to stop smoking can receive NRT and support from the Tobacco Treatment Team.

QUIT for a smoke-free Trust

Sheffield Children’s is smoke-free across all sites including The Becton Centre, Ryegate Children’s Centre and Centenary House.


  • Tobacco dependency is a chronic clinical condition that prematurely kills at least half of people who smoke.
  • If you smoke, you generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections like coronavirus and you are more likely to have underlying smoking related conditions, which could lead to more severe disease outcomes from COVID-19.
  • Smoking is the single biggest avoidable risk factor for cancer.
  • Nearly three quarters of children worry that their mum or dad will die because they smoke.
  • Quitting will not only benefit the parent or carer’s long term health but will reduce the likelihood of the child beginning to smoke in later years. Children are four times more likely to take up smoking themselves if they see their parents and/or family members smoke.
  • Stopping smoking can actually reduce levels of anxiety, depression and stress. Cigarettes do not reduce stress; they only reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

So stopping smoking is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your health.

Stopping smoking will bring immediate benefits to your health, including if you have an existing smoking-related disease. This is particularly important for both you and for our NHS at a time of intense pressure on the health service.

Once smoke free, there are very real health benefits with the body continuing to repair the longer you stay smoke free. The immediate benefits start after just eight hours and after just 48 hours the lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. After 2 to 12 weeks lung function and blood circulation starts to improve, making physical activity like walking and running easier. The longer you are smoke free the long term benefits increase further.

Exposure to second hand smoke

Parental smoking causes more than 6,100 excess deaths per year in children and young people under the age of 19 and increases the risk of paediatric hospitalisation.

Second-hand smoke impairs children’s health as they develop and can have long term implications into adulthood.

The impact smoke can have on child health can be devastating. Exposure in the womb can lead to a baby being born prematurely and entering the world before they are physically ready. And exposure outside the womb can lead to cot death or life-threatening conditions such as asthma and allergies. 

Children who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have an increased risk of:

  • Asthma
  • Ear infections
  • Acute lower respiratory infection
  • Reduced lung function
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • A smoking habit themselves when they are older. Most smokers start as teenagers, and two-thirds before the age of 18.

There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking in only one room or using other strategies, such as opening windows and spraying air fresheners, do not protect children from the harms of second-hand smoke.

Eighty-five per cent of second-hand smoke is invisible and it can remain in the air for several hours after a cigarette has been smoked inside. The best way to protect children from exposure to second hand smoke is for their parents and other carers to stop smoking altogether. 

Plenty of parents and carers are worried that their smoking is affecting their children, and wished that they had never started smoking in the first place.

There are many benefits to living in a smoke free home, including:

  • Removal of the health risks associated with second hand smoke for the residents, their pets and visitors
  • Children are less likely to develop asthma and those who do have asthma are able to control their symptoms better
  • Children are less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Children are less likely to be absent from school with colds, coughs, respiratory infections and middle ear disease
  • Children are less likely to become smokers when they get older
  • Smokers are likely to smoke less,  make a quit attempt and go on to quit
  • The house and car will be fresher, cleaner and smell better
  • Food and cooking will taste better because the ingredients will not have absorbed second-hand smoke
  • The risk of accidental house fires will be reduced
  • Time, money and energy are saved by not having to clean curtains, walls, windows and mirrors or redecorate as often
  • Resale value of the home and car may be higher
  • Less distractions whilst driving, lowering the chances of traffic offences and accidents.

A law banning smoking in vehicles carrying children came into force in England and Wales in October 2015. Drivers and passengers who break the law could face a penalty fine of £50.

Self-referral to QUIT smoking

For anyone wanting to quit please contact the local Stop Smoking Service on 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0330 660 1166 (free from most mobiles) or visit the Sheffield Smokefree Service website for free expert advice and support.

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