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: Do wearable lifestyle activity monitors really work?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study ties groundwater to human evolution

37 minutes ago

Our ancient ancestors' ability to move around and find new sources of groundwater during extremely dry periods in Africa millions of years ago may have been key to their survival and the evolution of the human ...

New study shows impact of movies on dog breed popularity

37 minutes ago

The effect of movies featuring dogs on the popularity of dog breeds can last up to ten years and is correlated with the general success of the movies, according to new research from the University of Bristol, the City University ...

Sharks more abundant on healthy coral reefs

37 minutes ago

Sharks in no-fishing zones in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park are more abundant when the coral is healthy, according to a study published September 10, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Mario Espinoza from J ...

Apple hopes secret sauce can reshape markets

1 hour ago

It's not the first with a smartwatch or mobile payments system, but Apple is likely to use its market muscle and sense of style and innovation to redefine those categories.

Recommended for you

Do wearable lifestyle activity monitors really work?

4 hours ago

Wearable electronic activity monitors hold great promise in helping people to reach their fitness and health goals. These increasingly sophisticated devices help the wearers improve their wellness by constantly monitoring ...

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.