Smoking Ban in Psychiatric Hospitals

I know this is something which has come into place years ago in most trusts but Dudley and Walsall Mental Health (DWMH) trust are only just bringing it in from 1st September 2019. This is something, as a smoker, I completely disagree with.

I’ve been in hospital 10 times since October 2015 and have always been able to smoke in the ward garden whenever I wanted, at all times of the day and night. It’s one of the only things to do in there and helps to calm me down if I’m upset. The one and only time I have been restrained and forcibly IM’d, the only thing that calmed me down after was going for a ciggie.

Instead, people are now being forced to quit smoking whilst they’re in a crisis and I think that’s the worst time to do it. I’m not exactly sure if people will be allowed escorted/unescorted leave off the ward to smoke but people who are sectioned are not allowed to leave the ward at all unless they get section 17 leave approved by their doctor so how’s this gonna work when they want to smoke? It’s not like they chose to be there. Also, most hospitals I’ve heard of don’t allow people to go and smoke after around 11pm so what are you supposed to do if you can’t sleep?

According to the DWMH website, the smoking ban will result in a lot less incidents occuring but I really can’t see this happening. Yes, they’ll provide you with nicotine patches and smoking cessation advice but it will just cause people to rebel and either smoke in their bedrooms or not come back from leave on time because they can’t smoke on the ward grounds.

I could go on forever about how much I disagree with this idea but I’ll leave it there for now. I’d love to hear from people who have been in hospital and not allowed to smoke and see what their experiences are.

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