The aim of this survey was to examine staff views on smoking at work in a large psychiatric hospital. A postal questionnaire was sent to all clinical staff (n=1471) asking about their smoking habits and attitudes to smoking at work.
The response rate was 40.7%. Overall, 22.0% of respondents were smokers, with unqualified nursing staff having the highest rate (31.0%). The majority of staff did not favour a total ban on smoking by staff, patients or visitors. Smoking habit and profession influenced responses. Smokers and nurses were more permissive in their attitude towards smoking on wards than non-smokers and psychiatrists.
Implementation of the government's recommendations on tobacco control in psychiatric units is likely to require considerable preparatory work with staff to ensure full compliance.
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