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Behav Sci Law. 2002;20(5):507-22.

Effect of a total smoking ban in a maximum security psychiatric hospital.

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Vernon State Hospital, TX, USA.


An archival study was performed in a maximum security forensic hospital to evaluate the effects of a total ban on smoking and all tobacco products. One hundred and forty patients were characterized as nonsmokers or light, moderate or heavy smokers. Patient records for the four weeks prior to the ban were compared with their records for the four weeks subsequent to the ban. Numbers of sick calls, total disruptive behaviors and verbal aggression declined markedly and significantly following the ban in those patients previously classified as moderate or heavy smokers. Weight increased significantly, but almost equally regardless of previous smoking status. Patients, and eventually staff, tolerated the smoking ban without significant negative effects. Patients relied very little on treatment modalities to alleviate nicotine withdrawal. Pre-ban apprehension by staff and patients dissipated with time after the smoking ban started.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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