RxPG News Feed for RxPG News

Medical Research Health Special Topics World
  Home
 
   Health
 Aging
 Asian Health
 Events
 Fitness
 Food & Nutrition
 Happiness
 Men's Health
 Mental Health
 Occupational Health
 Parenting
 Public Health
 Sleep Hygiene
 Women's Health
 
   Healthcare
 Africa
 Australia
 Canada Healthcare
 China Healthcare
 India Healthcare
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 UK
  NHS
 USA
 World Healthcare
 
   Latest Research
 Aging
 Alternative Medicine
 Anaethesia
 Biochemistry
 Biotechnology
 Cancer
 Cardiology
 Clinical Trials
 Cytology
 Dental
 Dermatology
 Embryology
 Endocrinology
 ENT
 Environment
 Epidemiology
 Gastroenterology
 Genetics
 Gynaecology
 Haematology
 Immunology
 Infectious Diseases
 Medicine
 Metabolism
 Microbiology
 Musculoskeletal
 Nephrology
 Neurosciences
 Obstetrics
 Ophthalmology
 Orthopedics
 Paediatrics
 Pathology
 Pharmacology
 Physiology
 Physiotherapy
 Psychiatry
 Radiology
 Rheumatology
 Sports Medicine
 Surgery
 Toxicology
 Urology
 
   Medical News
 Awards & Prizes
 Epidemics
 Launch
 Opinion
 Professionals
 
   Special Topics
 Ethics
 Euthanasia
 Evolution
 Feature
 Odd Medical News
 Climate

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
NHS Channel

subscribe to NHS newsletter
Healthcare : UK : NHS

   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Mental health units should not be exempt from smoking ban

Aug 25, 2006 - 7:43:00 PM , Reviewed by: Himanshu Tyagi
"Exemption from the Health Act will exclude mental health patients from mainstream health improvement strategies and exacerbate the inequality they already experience,"

 
[RxPG] Exempting mental health units from the ban on smoking in public places would worsen health inequalities for people with mental health problems, warn doctors in this week's BMJ.

Smoking is the largest single cause of preventable illness and premature death in the United Kingdom, with 106,000 people dying of smoking related diseases in 2002, and more than 10,000 dying each year as a result of passive smoking.

The Health Act 2006 will make all enclosed public and work places in England and Wales smoke-free environments, but may exclude some mental health settings.

This would be a mistake, argue Jonathan Campion and colleagues, as the prevalence of smoking is high among people with mental health problems.

Nearly three quarters of people with schizophrenia, affective psychosis, and other mental health disorders who live in mental health settings are smokers, and they are more likely to be heavier and more dependent smokers than the general population, they write.

As a result, people with mental health problems are at a substantially greater risk of premature death from smoking related diseases than is seen in the general population. This is particularly important given that those with mental illness already experience high levels of social exclusion and health inequality, which are exacerbated by smoking.

Arguments for excluding mental health settings from the new smoke-free legislation are that they are places of residence and that some patients are detained under the Mental Health Act. However, health and safety legislation places a duty on NHS employers to protect staff and patients from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

Another argument is that preventing people smoking is an infringement of human rights, particularly for detained patients. But the Human Rights Act 1998 allows an individual choice only if that does not endanger others. Furthermore, this argument is not applied to other forms of drug misuse, and people are not allowed to drink alcohol or use illegal drugs in mental health units.

Research also shows that smoke-free policies have succeeded in mental health settings. Such bans have caused fewer problems than anticipated, and policies applied in a consistent way to all patients were more effective than selective bans.

The health select committee has proposed that psychiatric institutions in England and Wales should not be exempt from the Health Act 2006, say the authors. "We strongly endorse this proposal and suggest that all mental health settings should introduce complete smoke-free policies. These policies should be introduced in a flexible and pragmatic way, with support and treatment available for patients to stop smoking and manage withdrawal."

"Exemption from the Health Act will exclude mental health patients from mainstream health improvement strategies and exacerbate the inequality they already experience," they conclude.



Publication: Editorial: Exempting mental health units from smoke-free laws BMJ Volume 333 pp 407-8
On the web: www.bmj.com 

Advertise in this space for $10 per month. Contact us today.


Related NHS News
Systematic bias in the assessment of UK doctors
Depression is wrongly seen as natural part of getting older
NRI doctor guilty of unethical tests on British patients
New steps to curb overseas doctors in Britain
Should EU patient information laws be relaxed?
Institutional discrimination by NHS causing unnecessary deaths of people with a learning disability
Should the NHS curb spending on translation services?
The NHS Redress Act may lead to more complaints
Patients should cc the benefits of doctors' letters
Is doctors' pay responsible for the financial crisis in the NHS ?

Subscribe to NHS Newsletter

Enter your email address:


 Feedback
For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

 
Contact us

RxPG Online

Nerve

 

    Full Text RSS

© All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited (India)