Louis Appleby welcomes smoking ban in mental health units

Mental health tsar Louis Appleby has claimed that the “smoking den culture on in-patient wards is over” with the extension of the smoking ban to mental health units in England today.

The ban on smoking in public places came into force a year ago today but mental health units were given a 12-month exemption, given evidence that up to 80% of patients on wards smoked.

However, mental health trusts and other providers were free to impose a ban themselves, which a number reportedly did.

Appleby said the full ban was a “positive step towards ending an unacceptable health inequality – the high rate of smoking-related disease in people with mental illness”.

The national director for mental health services added that it would be accompanied by support for mental health patients to quit smoking.

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