Quit smoking message not getting air time in mental health care

May 12, 2008

People with mental illness are not receiving the support they need to stop smoking, despite high rates of nicotine dependence and deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.

According to Professor Steve Kisely, from Griffith University’s School of Medicine, health services are failing to provide appropriate smoking cessation strategies to people with problems including depression, schizophrenia or post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said smoking rates in people with mental illness were twice the rates in the general population.

“Deaths from largely preventable diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease outnumber deaths from suicide in psychiatric patients by ten to one. There is a forgotten epidemic of physical illness in the mentally ill - another example of the inequities in our health system.”

In a recent review of the medical evidence for smoking interventions in mental illness, Professor Kisley said health professionals were not routinely including smoking status in patient treatment plans, encouraging smokers to quit, referring them for counselling or offering effective drug therapies.

Yet the literature review found that a combination of long term pharmacotherapy and psychological interventions for smoking cessation were as effective in people with mental illness as they were in the general population.

“These people can spend up to 40 per cent of their income on cigarettes and are significantly disadvantaged by their smoking. Smoking may also interfere with other medications they are taking and increase the risk of adverse side effects,” he said.

Professor Kisely said the most effective treatments for smoking cessation were a combination of psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy and nicotine replacement therapies or other prescription medicines such as bupropion (Zyban).

The study also concluded that treatment to stop smoking would be more effective when integrated into patients’ overall mental health care.

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: Low-carb beats low-fat for weight loss, heart health, study shows

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Great Barrier Reef dredge dumping plan could be shelved

25 minutes ago

An India-backed mining consortium could shelve controversial plans to dump dredging waste in the Great Barrier Reef, with alternative sites on land being considered amid growing environmental concerns, Australia ...

Top South America hackers rattle Peru's Cabinet

15 minutes ago

The Peruvian hackers have broken into military, police, and other sensitive government networks in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela and Peru, defacing websites and extracting sensitive data to strut ...

Recommended for you

Tobacco display bans protect youth and quitters

1 hour ago

Ending the display and promotion of cigarettes and tobacco in retail shops helps prevent young people taking up smoking and keeps quitters on track, according to new University of Otago research.

Monitoring work-related illnesses in Connecticut

1 hour ago

As we mark the annual Labor Day holiday, Connecticut workers continue to suffer occupational illness rates higher than the national average. A recent study by UConn Health found that 7,129 unique cases of ...

Louisiana following judge's order on abortion law

5 hours ago

The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet May 13, 2008
American Indians who smoked "The Peace Pipe"
lived longer than those who didn't! Look to the supplier of agra-chemicals for major causes of cancer.