Smoke-free policies in the psychiatric population on the ward and beyond: A discussion paper

Margaret A. Green, Pamela G. Hawranik

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Healthcare facilities from a number of countries have or are in the process of implementing smoke-free policies as part of their public health agenda and tobacco control strategy. Their main intent is to prevent the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke on employees and patients. However, these protection policies are often implemented before taking into account the specific needs of patients in psychiatric facilities and are clouded by a lack of knowledge, myths and misconceptions held by a variety of stakeholders. Consequently, the implementation of smoke-free policies tends to result in unintended and unfavourable consequences for this aggregate. Patients are forced to abstain from tobacco use during their hospitalization but have few options to address their dependence upon discharge. The development and implementation of such policies should not occur in isolation. It requires thoughtful consideration of the needs of the affected population. Recommendations are presented on the role of nurses in lobbying for policy changes. As well as strategies for policy makers and administrators that should accompany such a policy in psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1549
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct. 2008


  • Smoke-free policies in psychiatry
  • Smoking and mental illness
  • Tobacco dependency
  • Tobacco use in psychiatry


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