Published: 05/08/2004, Volume II4, No. 5917 Page 8

The entire NHS should aim to become smoke free, according to chief medical officer Professor Sir Liam Donaldson.

In his annual report on the state of public health he said that although strong action on creating smoke-free environments for workers and the public was advocated by the vast majority of public health professionals, 'it remains an anachronism that the NHS itself is not entirely smoke free'.

He said that although a national NHS directive was issued by the then government in 1992 stating that NHS premises should be smoke free by 1993, 'sadly the aim of a virtually smoke-free NHS has still not been achieved'.

According to figures to be released by the Health Development Agency in the autumn, only 10 per cent of the NHS is completely smoke free.

The report draws on evidence from Ireland and Norway, which have both implemented bans. Sir Liam says the 'overwhelming health case in favour of smokefree places is backed by strong public support for action'.