Smoking ban in spotlight as judicial review begins

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A former mental health patient, who was denied the right to smoke, believes allowing addicted patients to smoke has far more positives than negatives.

A judicial review of a smoking ban in an acute mental health facility is set to begin in the High Court at Auckland this morning.

The lead applicant in the review believes the ban is in breach of the Human Rights Act, saying those in the ward are being detained and due to the ban they are forced to stop smoking.

She says going through addiction withdrawal has similar symptoms to mania and when they get assessed, doctors could think patients are still struggling with mental illness when they are struggling with withdrawal.

"It's very, very difficult to have these assessments with doctors. It makes you very nervous because your freedom is on the line, you want to be let out. Because you're hanging out for a cigarette you can't keep your cool.

"We are discriminated against because we have a mental illness we are basically being forced to cease smoking in circumstances where there's no justifiable reason for that."

- Newstalk ZB

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