On the 1st July, 2008 smoking was banned in psychiatric hospitals in the U.K. However, many hospitals have failed to implement the ban fully - if at all - and there has been a rise in 'secret smoking' by service users. A study of services by the Mental Health Foundation found that 85% of units had not implemented the ban fully. Many units lacked a safe outdoor smoking area for service users and the need to escort patients off the ward was seen to be a considerable drain on resources. Staff felt uncomfortable enforcing the ban and often turned a blind eye to smoking. In wards where the ban had been implemented successfully there had been widespread consultation with staff and patients beforehand, there was support for service users to stop smoking and alternative activities were provided for them.
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