Rates of tobacco smoking are very high in people with serious mental illness (SMI), and this is an important contributor to the early mortality seen in this population. Smoking is also associated with worsening of cognitive functioning. For people with SMI who smoke, treatment guidelines recommend nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion or varenicline as first-line pharmacotherapy, plus health education and motivational interviewing approaches. Detailed information on smoking cessation interventions can be found in Tobacco Smoking Cessation in Adults, Including Pregnant Women: Behavioral and Pharmacotherapy Interventions (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 2017). Click the button below to access the resource.
Also see this tip from SMI Adviser on treatments and medications for smoking cessation.
Quit rates may be lower in individuals with SMI than in the general population. Research on smoking cessation in people with SMI is limited, and cessation approaches studied generally follow guidelines for the general population. Experience and some research suggests that people with SMI may benefit from more intensive smoking cessation treatments, including combining multiple pharmacologic approaches and using more intensive supports.
Tobacco Smoking Cessation in Adults, Including Pregnant Women: Behavioral and Pharmacotherapy Interventions (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 2017)
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