Our aim was to explore attitudes of in-patient mental health staff to smoking and the smoking ban. A questionnaire was distributed to staff (n=450) working at National Health Service psychiatric units in three different locations.
We obtained 308 responses, at a response rate of 68.4%. Staff were generally less permissive towards smoking in mental health units when compared with previous studies. However, most (78.9%) feared that service users' states would deteriorate if they were not allowed to smoke.
We found small but noticeable change in staff attitudes following initial reforms in smoking policy. However, there is a need for further significant change in staff attitudes to facilitate implementation of a total smoking ban from July 2008.
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