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: Can YouTube save your life?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fact or fiction: Which do moviegoers prefer?

18 minutes ago

Do you feel sadder watching a documentary about war or a drama about a young person dying of cancer? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers mistakenly believe they will have stronger emotio ...

Hewlett-Packard recalls 5 million AC power cords

56 minutes ago

Hewlett-Packard Company is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in this country and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

Aug 29, 2014

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

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.