How to implement a smoke-free policy
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It takes courage, leadership and planning to successfully implement a smoke-free policy in mental health settings. The content of the policy is crucial in setting parameters for implementation. Management and clinicians should work closely together to develop and coordinate the implementation strategy, ensuring that resources are effectively used and deadlines are met. Key success factors are effective management at both central and local levels, as well as consultation with service users, carers and staff to gain support for the policy and obtain suggestions for improvement. Other important factors are advance planning, recruitment of experienced staff, effective communication and extensive training of staff in smoking cessation support. Local teams should develop appropriate procedures based on the policy. They should work closely with the central management team. The resources developed and obtained by local teams should be shared throughout the organisation and should be tailored to meet the needs of particular services.