NHS Tayside has introduced a complete smoking ban in its mental health wards.
The move by the health body, which came into effect on Monday, is in line with a Scottish Government directive and follows the initiative being piloted at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth.
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said the smoking ban was “well received” on both the Rannoch and Amulree wards at the Perth hospital and has now been introduced at Murray Royal Hospital and the Carseview Centre in Dundee.
The NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “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.”
The spokesperson continued: “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.”
Alison Angus, clinical in-patient team manager for general adult psychiatry with NHS Tayside, 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.”
Andrew Radley, NHS Tayside consultant in public health pharmacy, added: “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 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 smoke free. People who use our services in the community setting will also be given support and advice to help them quit.”
The ban prohibits smoking both inside and in hospital grounds.
Anyone who wants to stop smoking can visit any local community pharmacy or phone NHS Tayside smoke free services on 0845 600 999.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the free ‘Quit Smoking in 12 weeks’ programme should visit www.facebook.com/nhstaysidesmokefree