Forty- four percent of cigarettes purchased, are by persons with serious mental illness. This population dies approximately twenty- five years earlier than the general population. In 1993, American hospitals were mandated to become smokefree. At that time, psychiatric facilities requested variances amid concerns that their patients may present adverse behaviors due to nicotine withdrawal. Within the last five years, smoking bans have become more prevalent, resulting in many psychiatric facilities adhering to a no smoking policy. The Owatonna Mental Health Unit at the Owatonna hospital currently has a variance to allow smoking breaks for their mentally ill inpatients.

Research Questions: Are there adverse effects or negative behaviors among mentally ill inpatients when there is a smoking ban in psychiatric institutions? What are best practices for good outcomes for smoking cessation for mentally ill smokers?


David Beimers

Committee Member

Robin Wingo

Committee Member

Mary Jacobsen

Date of Degree




Document Type

Other Capstone Project


Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Social and Behavioral Sciences

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