Our smoke free policy

We are smoke free

The Royal Free London went smoke free in October 2014. You are no longer allowed to smoke or use e-cigarettes on any trust property, including outside areas.

We know that smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable ill health. Since July 2007 smoking has not been permitted inside any of our buildings, to protect the health of all people using our hospitals and clinics. Secondhand smoke is dangerous to anyone who breathes it in. It can stay in the air for several hours after somebody smokes. Even breathing secondhand smoke for a short amount of time can hurt your body. Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous for children, babies, and women who are pregnant.

We want everyone who uses our services to be safe and to see our hospitals and community premises as places that promote good health and wellbeing. To help achieve this we made our grounds smoke-free, so that patients and visitors are not exposed to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke whilst on our premises.When I leave hospital with my new baby I don't want her to breathe in your smoke

How we can support you

Giving up smoking is a personal choice, but it is the most important thing you can do for your health and those around you. We will respect your decision and support you to give up if you choose to.


As an inpatient you will be given advice on which type of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is right for you and you will be provided with this medication should you wish to use it. There are many types of NRT available such as patches, lozenges, minis, mouth sprays, oral strips, inhalator and gum (read more on our NRT pages). Nicotine replacement reduces your cravings to smoke by releasing smaller doses of nicotine. You may also be offered a medicine called varenicline (Champix®) as an alternative to nicotine replacement, which works by reducing your cravings for a cigarette. This can only be provided by a doctor. More detailed information about NRTs is available on the NHS smoke free website.

You will be asked if you smoke and offered a referral to your local stop smoking service. When we discharge you from hospital, we can provide you with up to two weeks supply of NRT to take home.

If you are having a planned admission to one of our hospitals, the best thing you can do is contact your GP or your local stop smoking service and ask for NRT to take into hospital with you. That way you can start using NRT before you arrive. Your GP should be able to give you details of your local service.

If you have an unplanned admission, you can ask any nurse or doctor to give you NRT to help with your nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and you can request a referral to your local stop smoking service.


You can buy NRT over the counter from a pharmacy or you can ask your GP to prescribe this for you depending on their policy. You can also ask your clinician to refer you to your local stop smoking service.


If you are a visitor, we ask that you do not smoke during your visit. If you are visiting for a long period, you can buy NRT from our out-patient pharmacies at the Royal Free Hospital or from a pharmacy near Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital.