Is your hospital going ‘Smokefree’?
Smoking is currently banned inside the premises of all public buildings in the UK. Common exemptions include certain rooms in some hospitals, hospices and mental health units. However, many of these healthcare establishments are now increasingly adopting a smoke-free policy throughout their grounds.
Rates of smoking in mental health units are around 70%
Compared with the general population, people diagnosed with a mental health disorder are more likely to be smokers. Rates of smoking in mental health inpatient units are around 70% and therefore smoking-related diseases are more prevalent in these patients. It was recommended by NICE in 2013 that all mental health units make their buildings and grounds smoke-free but this has not been completely implemented.
Research has shown that smoking increases the risk of major depression
Research has shown links between smoking and some types of mental illness. It has been found that smoking exerts a depressant effect in the long term, also increases the risk of major depression. Smoking can affect the interaction of medications used to treat mental health, for instance higher doses of psychotropic drugs are needed for some treatment programs for Schizophrenia. Symptoms of mental illness can also be reduced after quitting smoking, such is the case for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
The main treatment to help stop is nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). These products release nicotine into the body without the other toxic chemicals, such as tar and smoke, and safely reduce the craving for smoking. Other prescription-only treatments are available from a doctor and may be suitable if NRT isn’t successful. Also Ashtons has a vast array of products that will aid patients give up smoking which can be found here.
At Ashtons we would like to support any hospital wanting to go smoke-free and have developed a new Guide for Smoking Cessation, which aims to inform healthcare organisations of –
- The benefits of stopping smoking
- Smoking cessation in a mental health setting
- A guide to the available treatments
- Interactions with medication
- Smoking cessation in special groups
- Cost effective choices for smoking cessation