Introducing the smoking ban

Locked units are required to implement a smoking ban. Patients will not be able to smoke indoors, in the grounds or use a smoking shelter, but will be able to smoke when out of the grounds on unescorted leave. Managing this effectively will involve the following:

  • service user and carer views, such as the study here from Scotland and this from the Yorkshire and Humber Involvement Network
  • reference to government guidance, such as this recent guidance from Public Health England about mental health services, this from the Department of Health, and this tobacco control plan and overview.
  • research evidence – see NICE, ASH and the WHO and advice such as ‘The Stolen Years‘. Also evidence that introducing the smoking ban in a psychiatric hospital led to a reduction in violent incidents is here. Much of the evidence is brought together here.
  • Information about the position in terms of law, caselaw and enforcement powers, such as the failed challenge from patients at Rampton
  • Requirements from commissioners, as set out here, and popular commissioning responses, whether evidence-based or not – see here.
  • Self assessment by individual organisations, using the tool here
  • A clear organisational policy, such as this example from SLAM here and this one from PiC. Other organisations are banning smoking (including e-cigarettes) too, such as Nottinghamshire County Council, and social housing providers in New Zealand here.
  • Timescale for introduction
  • Smoking cessation programmes offered to patients and how the policy is adapted in response to individual health needs, personal preferences and the therapeutic regime in neighbouring units
  • Approach to e-cigarettes, such as this report from the Royal College of Physicians and this one about their regulation acorss Europe.
  • Staff conduct in support of the policy, including training for staff, such as the online resources here.
  • How to win staff support for the policy – Rethink Mental Illness have been investigating how the ban has been introduced into mental health services. For example, early indications show that introducing the ban does not lead to a reduction in referrals. Contact Charli to find out more.