The experience of a smoke-free policy in a medium secure hospital
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Aims and method: A Trust-wide smoke-free policy was introduced in March 2007. This service evaluation retrospectively reviewed the outcome by focusing on recorded changes in behaviour, incidents and prescribing. Results: The majority of patients (89%) smoked before the smoke-free policy. There was no significant change in the rate of clinical incidents or the use of tranquillising medication at 3 months and 12 months post-implementation. Clozapine serum levels were raised significantly, necessitating dose reduction in 17% of patients. Fifty-four per cent of patients used nicotine replacement therapy and a small minority continued this treatment for 12 months. Clinical implications: Despite initial concerns there were no significant problems in implementation of the smoke-free policy. This was assisted by extensive preparation, education, patient advocacy and access to treatment beforehand. Declaration of interest: None.