NHS Tayside mental health sites and grounds to become smoke free



NHS Tayside mental health sites and grounds to become smoke free

Mental health service sites are joining the rest of NHS Tayside’s premises and grounds by becoming smoke free from Monday, 2 October 2017.

NHS Tayside is a health promoting organisation and is responsible for maintaining a safe, healthy working environment and protecting the health of patients, staff and visitors.

The smoke free status in the grounds of every hospital, health centre and NHS building across the country is part of a national drive to create a tobacco-free generation within Scotland by 2034.

NHS Tayside supports this ambition and asks that people who wish to smoke, only do so outwith NHS Tayside premises or grounds.

Smoky environments have been shown to be detrimental to health by causing cardiovascular and respiratory problems not just to the smoker but also to those who are breathing in the smoke.


Clinical evidence also shows that there are significant benefits to having a no smoking policy within mental health facilities, included improved physical and mental health.

A common misconception is that smoking helps to reduce stress but smoking actually increases the physical stress on the body due to the craving experienced by smokers. Stopping smoking can reduce stress levels and people often feel much better and healthier once they quit.

There is also emerging evidence that when patients with psychosis, depression and anxiety are supported to stop smoking, with behavioural support and either Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or other medication, on average their mental health symptoms actually improve.

A pilot to test out the updated policy was carried out in Rannoch and Amulree Wards at Murray Royal Hospital. Staff and patients have given valuable feedback during the pilot, which was well received on the wards.

Support to stop smoking or refrain from smoking while on NHS sites is available to patients, visitors and staff from ward staff or from community pharmacies.

Consultant in Public Health pharmacy Andrew Radley said, “We recognise that stopping smoking can be very difficult and want to do all we can to help our patients manage this. Therefore, all patients who smoke will be offered nicotine replacement therapy and/or other support to help them to manage this. We know that these measures significantly increase the chances of people quitting smoking, or managing to abstain whilst in hospital.

“On discharge from hospital, patients will be given information about support services to help them remain smokefree. People who use our services in the community setting will also be given support and advice to help them quit.”

Mr Radley encourages everyone to support the no smoking policy and work in partnership with NHS Tayside to improve the health of the public.

He added, “We are committed to helping the communities that use our services to lead longer, healthier lives.

“We understand that it can be hard to go without a cigarette, particularly at stressful times, however the NHS exists to make everyone’s health as good as possible.

“Keeping our grounds smoke free is to benefit the health of everyone and we thank all smokers for respecting this.

“We want to thank staff for their support and participation in making this policy a success.

We know that smoking rates among people with a mental illness are high. However, studies have shown that many people with a mental illness want to quit and that smoking causes, rather than relieves stress.

“By extending our no smoking policy to mental health service sites, we can help to protect the health of all of our patients, staff and visitors.”

Alison Angus, Clinical In-Patient Team Manager for General Adult Psychiatry, said, “The experience of the pilot wards has been very positive with staff and patients enjoying smoke free environments with evidence of improved healthier lifestyle choices for some patients.

“Updating our smoking policy to include mental health services and supporting patients not to smoke on our grounds and sites is an essential part of providing the best possible care and treatment for all of our patients.”

Giving up smoking is the single most important lifestyle decision that anyone can make to improve their health immediately.

Anyone who wants to stop smoking can visit any local community pharmacy or call NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services on 0845 600 999 6 to find out about all the ways in which NHS Tayside can help support people to become smoke free.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the free ‘Quit Smoking in 12 weeks’ programme which offers support and free products can also follow our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nhstaysidesmokefree

Health benefits to quitting smoking

    • 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure and pulse return to normal

    • 48 hours - no nicotine is left in your body. Your senses of taste and smell are greatly improved

    • 72 hours - your breathing becomes easier and your energy levels increase

    • 2-12 weeks after quitting smoking your circulation improves and exercise can be easier

    • 3-9 months - any coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve

    • Within one year the risk of heart attack is halved

    • Within 10 years the risk of lung cancer is halved and the risk of heart attack is at the same level as non-smokers

    • Medium to long term – stopping smoking at any age increases your life expectancy, provided you stop before the onset of serious disease. Even if you have developed a disease, you can benefit from stopping as your body will be under less strain and be able to fight it more easily.

Smoking causes the premature deaths of 13,000 people in Scotland every year and causes 56,000 hospital admissions. It is the single largest preventable cause of ill health and mortality. ‘Second-hand’ smoke or passive smoking is a significant health risk to non-smokers. Passive smoking is calculated to cause:

    • Nearly 1 in 10 of all deaths due to stroke.

    • Nearly 1 in 20 of all deaths due to asthma

    • More than 1 in 30 of all deaths due to heart disease

    • More than 1 in 25 of all lung cancers


Debbie Huband

NHS Tayside Communications

(01382) 424138