The high prevalence of cigarette smoking and tobacco related morbidity and mortality in people with chronic mental illness is well documented. This review summarizes results from studies of smoking cessation treatments in people with schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also summarizes experimental studies aimed at identifying biopsychosocial mechanisms that underlie the high smoking rates seen in people with these disorders. Research indicates that smokers with chronic mental illness can quit with standard cessation approaches with minimal effects on psychiatric symptoms. Although some studies have noted high relapse rates, longer maintenance on pharmacotherapy reduces rates of relapse without untoward effects on psychiatric symptoms. Similar biopsychosocial mechanisms are thought to be involved in the initiation and persistence of smoking in patients with different disorders. An appreciation of these common factors may aid the development of novel tobacco treatments for people with chronic mental illness. Novel nicotine and tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and very low nicotine content cigarettes may also be used to improve smoking cessation rates in people with chronic mental illness.
Smoking cessation and reduction in people with chronic mental illness by Jennifer W Tidey, Mollie E Miller. BMJ 2015; 351 :h4065 (Published 21 September 2015)