Nicotine Management Policy
Why do C&I services not provide access to smoking areas?
Smoking kills 50% of lifetime smokers through causing cancer, heart disease, and lung diseases. The high rates of smoking in people with mental health problems is the main reason that people in this group die 15-25 years younger than other people.
National guidelines issued to all mental health trusts in 2013 said that all mental health trusts should support their patients who smoke in the same way that general hospitals do, and should provide access to support to help people to abstain from smoking, should remove all smoking areas, and stop all facilitated smoking breaks.
We have a duty of care to support our service users to improve their health, and we can offer you effective support, to enable you to abstain from smoking while using our services, or to stop altogether.
What support will I receive?
We will provide you with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), plus support from a member of staff trained to act as a smoking cessation advisor. With this combination of treatment you are four times more likely to succeed at stopping smoking.
For people leaving hospital, or moving between services during an attempt to stop smoking, we will ensure you continue to receive support in your new service.
But if I’m stressed out, isn’t that a bad time to quit smoking?
People often think they need to keep smoking to help manage stress levels, but addiction to nicotine actually causes stress and causes low mood. Stopping smoking improves anxiety, stress levels, and improves depressed mood to about the same degree as taking an antidepressant. This improvement in mental health is exactly the same for people with, or without mental health problems.
Smoking affects the way your body absorbs some of the medicines that you might be prescribed, and smokers can need up to 50% higher doses than non-smokers to get the same therapeutic effect. This could mean that if you stop smoking you may require less medication.
What are the restrictions on tobacco use?
Tobacco smoke is toxic to users, but also to the people around them. Because of the harm that smoking causes to the health of non-smoking service users and staff, smoking is not permitted in the buildings or grounds of any Trust owned or managed site. In addition, to manage the risk associated with illicit smoking, possession of tobacco is not permitted on inpatient units.
Service users in residential services are permitted to possess tobacco, but are asked to comply with the restrictions on smoking in and around the building. Local restrictions on tobacco use may vary in non-Trust managed sites.
How do I get support?
On inpatient wards, all smokers will be assessed at the point of admission, provided with nicotine replacement therapy, and will be offered a referral to a smoking cessation advisor. If you want to use an e-cigarette, please ask a member of staff for further information on where this is permitted.
We also have specialist services available for people we see in the community, so if you are working with our community services, please ask a member of staff about how to access support with stopping, or reducing your smoking.
What does this mean for carers and visitors?
If your friend or loved one is in hospital, we ask you to support them by not bringing tobacco products or lighters to any C&I premises.
If you wish to bring in e-cigarettes, please ask a member of staff for information