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. 2008 Sep;5(3):129-33.

A Smoking Ban in Psychiatric Units: Threat or Opportunity?

Free PMC article

A Smoking Ban in Psychiatric Units: Threat or Opportunity?

Lindsay Banham et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
Free PMC article


People with severe mental illness (SMI) experience some of the worst physical health and die younger than almost any section of the population. Mental health professionals have seemed strangely indifferent to this inequality, which in other areas of health would be a national scandal. In this editorial we discuss the recently introduced smoking ban in inpatient mental health service settings, which will offer mental health services an opportunity to implement creative, evidence-based strategies to help people with SMI address smoking and nicotine addiction. In doing this, we refer to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance. This guidance forms the basis of national smoking policies for the general population and forms a starting point for those with SMI. Such a strategy will necessarily involve close collaboration with primary care, and we specifically examine how this might be achieved.

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