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The aim of this survey was to explore staff attitudes to the indoor smoking ban in a medium secure unit and to ascertain if they had experienced any difficulties in imposing the ban in the four months after its introduction. All staff members available on duty who agreed to participate in the survey were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. The response rate was 65%. Sixty-four percent of the staff supported the smoking ban. Forty-three percent reported experiencing patient management problems with the majority complaining of increased patient aggression, increased use of staff time in supervising patients smoking. Additionally, supervising staff were still being exposed to passive smoking. Sixty-five percent reported positive effects due to the ban with the majority reporting that patients were sleeping at night due to the smoking area being closed at night. A significant proportion of the staff is still opposed to the smoking ban. Changing staff attitudes through educational programmes will be important in ensuring success of a possible future total ban in psychiatric units. 2009 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine.


Shruti Garg, Suraj Shenoy, May Badee, Joe Varghese, Patrick Quinn, John Kent. Survey of staff attitudes to the smoking ban in a medium secure unit. Journal of forensic and legal medicine. 2009 Oct;16(7):378-80

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PMID: 19733324

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