Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death, disability, illness and social inequality. 1 in 2 smokers die prematurely due to their smoking. Tobacco addiction is a disease; a chronic relapsing disease that often begins in childhood. There are many highly effective treatments for this disease and we want to change these terrible statistics by helping smokers to quit when they are admitted to hospital.
The CURE project is a comprehensive secondary care treatment programme for tobacco addiction. At its heart is systematically identifying all active smokers admitted to secondary care and immediately offering nicotine replacement therapy and other medications, as well as specialist support, for the duration of the admission and after discharge.
The term ‘CURE’ has been specifically chosen to ‘medicalise’ tobacco addiction and move away from the stigma of a lifestyle choice to disease treatment. Treating tobacco addiction must become part of the core activity of all clinicians in every part of the hospital.
CURE is part of Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership’s Making Smoking History programme, which is taking a whole system approach to reduce smoking rates in Greater Manchester by a third to 13% by the end of 2021 and to 5% by 2027. This is faster than any other major global city and would mean 115,000 fewer smokers by 2021.