Intended for healthcare professionals


Psychiatric patients less violent when smoking restricted

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 08 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a735
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. 1London

    Violence and aggressive incidents were cut by almost half when a smoking ban was introduced at one English acute psychiatric hospital.

    In data yet to be published, but seen by the BMJ, investigators at Harplands Hospital in North Staffordshire examined all recorded episodes of violence and aggression that staff experienced. They compared all incidents a year before the introduction of a smoke-free hospital policy in April 2006 with those in the year after. Harplands, like other hospitals, introduced a partial ban so that staff and patients could still smoke in designated areas outside the hospital.

    The findings come as the Department of Health introduced a complete ban on smoking in all psychiatric hospitals in England from 1 July.

    Incidents were divided into groups such as patient to patient or patient …

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