To explore the smoking habits of in-patients on psychiatric wards, their beliefs about the effects of smoking on health, and their attitudes towards hospital and government smoking policies. Face-to-face interviews with 135 in-patients were conducted.
A total of 54.1% of participants smoked. Smoking was less prevalent in those aged 65 years and older (P<0.001). Non-smokers were more likely to believe smoking to be harmful to health (P=0.002). Overall, 71.1% of the participants favoured the existing smoking policy, with only 3.0% wanting a complete ban on smoking and 54.1% agreeing with banning smoking in public places.
Further studies are warranted into the views of in-patients elsewhere and to see whether attitudes change as trusts tighten their smoking policies. Outdoor smoking areas may need to be considered, although in practice this may not be possible in all trusts.
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