I wanted to flag up and publicise a petition that I feel very strongly about. It is to ask the government to consider an exemption for acute mental health wards from smoking bans.
Now obviously no-one is arguing that smoking is a good thing, per se. Seperate smoke rooms mean that others do not have to sit in a smoke filled environment. Please consider the following and if you agree – sign up!
1) In order to successfully given up smoking you have to want to.
2) An inpatient mental health ward when you are in extreme emotional distress, is not a conducive enviroment or state of mind to give up smoking. Stopping smokers from smoking will only serve to increase emotional distress and create a point of friction between staff and patients.
3) It is sad but true, one of the activities and ways of passing time on a ward is to smoke – many people actually restart smoking when they come on a ward out of boredom.
3) Prisons, hospices and secure mental health units will be exempt.
4) It is unenforcable and places users/staff/property at increased risk. Smokers will continue to try and smoke, as that is the nature of smoking and they will find sneaky ways! Arguments and disagreements are bound to ensue and perhaps result in an increase of use of pychotropic drugs, in order to ‘calm’ (comatose out) the patient. For god’s sake let ’em have a fag!!!
Click here to go to the petition which is at the 10 Downing Steet website.