Smoking Ban at Psychiatric Hospital Linked to Increase in Involuntary Admissions

The rate of involuntary admissions at Canada’s largest psychiatric hospital jumped by 63% in the weeks following the implementation of a no-smoking policy at the institution, according to a study presented here at the Canadian Psychiatric Association 60th Annual Conference.

“When you tell people they have to stay they really feel like they’re being imprisoned because of their smoking habit,” said Paul Kurdyak, MD, head of Emergency Crisis Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and lead investigator of the study.

“There’s a time and a place for everything. For me the issue is that people are coming in crisis and it’s a really tough time to ask them to stop smoking.”

The study compared emergency department records for the 12 weeks preceding and following the no-smoking policy, which was implemented at CAMH in September 2005.

A study previously published by Dr. Kurdyak and colleagues documented a 15% decrease in overall visits to the emergency department after a provincewide smoking ban in public places (Can J Psychiatry. 2008;53:779-789).

Reported by Kate Johnson
Medscape Medical News

Submitted by Anna

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