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.

How we can support you

If you are a smoker then we are here to help. We have a team of highly experienced specialists who can help you to either stop smoking for good, remain temporarily abstinent (eg as an in-patient, or during pregnancy) or with harm reduction (cutting down). 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. 

Types of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

You will be given advice on which type of NRT is most suitable for you and be provided with this medication should you wish to use it. There are many types of NRT available (patches, lozenges, mini mouth sprays, oral strips, inhalator and gum - read more on our NRT pages) and we will help you to find the one that works for you. 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 on NRTs is available on the NHS smoke free website.


If you are an in-patient at the trust, you will be asked if you smoke and offered a referral to the stop smoking service. After discharge, we can provide you with telephone support and a two week 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 and ask for NRT to take into hospital with you, or your local stop smoking service (your GP should be able to give you details of your local service). That way you can start using NRT before you arrive. 

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 visit from a stop smoking specialist.


Please note that Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital are unable to provide medication to out-patients. You can buy NRT over the counter from a pharmacy or you can ask your GP to prescribe this for you (subject to GP’s policy). We can provide support with this and give you more information on how to use these medications as well as offer you psychological support. 


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, Barnet Hospital, and Chase Farm Hospital.

Further information 

If you have any questions about giving up smoking or managing your withdrawal symptoms, please contact us:

Royal Free Hospital
Call 0207 794 0500 (ext 33916) or email RF.smokefree@nhs.net

Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital
Call 0208 216 4175 (ext 64175) or email RF-TR.bcf-smokefree@nhs.net  

Download and read our smoke free policy.