News Releases

Don't discriminate against smokers, Forest tells NHS

Thu 9th June, 2011

Forest has warned doctors not to deny smokers access to surgery if they fail to quit smoking before the operation.

An NHS hospital in Portsmouth wants smokers to try to quit before going on the waiting list for surgery. 

Smokers will be asked to undergo a stop smoking course before being put forward for routine operations including hip or knee replacements.

Doctors will decide whether to operate after weighing up the benefit of quitting against the benefit of the operation.

Speaking on the BBC regional news programme South Today, Forest director Simon Clark said that doctors had a right to advise patients to quit smoking before an operation but smokers had a right to ignore that advice.

Smokers, he said, make a massive contribution to the NHS through tobacco taxation. "They have earned the right to an operation."

Source: BBC News (9 June 2011)

Back to top