Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of a smoking cessation programme for smokers living with mental illness, provided within community mental health services, and determine factors which impact on the rates of cessation.
Methods One hundred and twenty-nine smoking cessation group programmes were provided within community mental health services in South Australia between 2006 and 2011. Participants’ smoking cessation rates were analysed in terms of demographic factors, smoking history, diagnosis and group participation. Participants completed written questionnaires at registration, at the end of each programme and at 12 months. They were also asked to complete the Fagerström rating scale and use the Micro+Smokerlyzer to measure breath carbon monoxide levels.
Results Eight hundred and forty-four smokers living with mental illness registered for the programme. Many continued to be involved in addressing their tobacco use over more than one programme. At the end of their last programme, 581 completed an evaluation and 129 (22.2%) were not smoking. If it is assumed that all who did not complete an evaluation had continued smoking, then the cessation rate was 15.3%. Cessation rates were higher for those who attended more sessions, had decided at registration that they wanted to quit or had a lower level of nicotine dependence. Cessation rates were not significantly affected by gender, diagnosis or the number of years of smoking.
Conclusions People with mental illness are concerned about their tobacco use and will seek help if this is available. Smoking cessation programmes which are tailored for this group of smokers can be effective and should be provided by mental health and tobacco control services.
- Priority/Special Populations
- Public Policy
- Primary Health Care
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