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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Smoking Cessation in Persons with Serious Mental Illnesses: The Experience of Successful Quitters

Wednesday, June 08, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

Dickerson F, Bennett M, Dixon L, Burke E, Vaughan C, Delahanty J, Diclemente C. Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2011 Spring;34(4):311-6.

This study examined the experiences of people with serious mental illnesses who have quit smoking. After being quit for at least four months, former smokers with serious mental illnesses took part in a structured interview about their experiences. Most participants reported health concerns as the primary reason for quitting. Additional reasons included the price of cigarettes, a doctor's advice to quit, and other people's advice to quit. The most often reported methods for quitting included social support from friends or family (58%), instruction from a doctor (46%), use of NRT (31%), and advice of friends who had quit (23%). Very few had received any cessation treatment other than NRT. Authors note that this study emphasizes that people with serious mental illness are successful in quitting, and suggest that smoking cessation programming should be easily accessible to people with serious mental illness. They also report that former smokers living with mental illness are interested in helping others quit, and suggest that they should be involved in formal peer-to-peer smoking cessation interventions.

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