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Perspectives

Smoking and mental illness: a clinical guide to quitting

MATTHEW WARDEN, DAVID CASTLE

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© PHOTOGRAPHEE.EU/STOCK.ADOBE.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY

Abstract

People with mental illness are much more likely to smoke than the general population but much less likely to be offered smoking cessation services, possibly partly because of misconceptions about smoking and mental illness among medical practitioners. The 5 As framework and most pharmacological quit strategies can be used in patients with a mental illness, with some cautions about side effects and drug interactions.

Key Points

  • Rates of smoking in people with mental illness remain high and have not decreased in line with rates in the rest of the population.
  • Smoking contributes significantly to higher morbidity and mortality in people with mental illness.
  • Smoking cessation has beneficial effects on mental health.
  • Having a mental illness should not preclude a patient from smoking cessation services.

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© PHOTOGRAPHEE.EU/STOCK.ADOBE.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY
© PHOTOGRAPHEE.EU/STOCK.ADOBE.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY