Clearing the Air: Debating smoke-free policies in psychiatric units

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Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke lead to poor physical health. Yet there are concerns that extending the proposed ban on indoor smoking to psychiatric units would infringe patient rights and could provoke aggressive reactions from patients.

This paper explores the arguments for and against such a ban. It examines the international literature on the prevalence and impact of smoking in psychiatric units and looking at the impact of smoking bans in these settings.

The paper also presents the findings of a survey of staff in UK psychiatric units about their views on a smoking ban and the feasibility of implementing it.