§ 64. Mr. Parker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will prohibit all smoking in hospitals and health clinics; and if she will make a statement on the steps she has so far taken to discourage this practice.
§ Dr. Owen
When in hospital smokers may be under great stress and I do not think a total prohibition would be justified but hospitals and health centres can reinforce by example the fact that cigarette smoking is dangerous and causes lung cancer, bronchitis and heart disease.
The advice given to hospital authorities in June 1971 emphasised the rôle of hospitals in setting an example to patients and visitors, and that if smoking was allowed the wishes of non-smokers should be respected. It was also suggested then that smoking was undesirable in wards. I am not entirely satisfied with current practice and will shortly be sending out further advice.