YORK, England, May 24 (UPI) — A British researcher says smoking cessation programs need to include smokers with severe mental illness.
Simon Gilbody of the University of York & Hull York Medical School in England says those with severe mental illness need to be offered these programs.
“Despite huge expansion in smoking cessation services in recent years, people with severe mental illness have been left behind,” Gilbody says in a statement.
Gilbody and colleagues reviewed studies on smoking cessation and mental illness and concluded treatment for smoking dependence is as effective among people with severe mental illnesses as it is for the general population. Moreover, such treatments do not appear to cause mental health deterioration.
The study, published in the journal Addiction, notes people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia have high rates of physical illness and are two to three times likely as others to smoke.
The researchers suggest smoking-related illnesses contribute significantly to the sickness among those with severe mental illness. Mortality rates for those with severe mental illness are three times those of the rest of the population — largely due to smoking-related illness rather than schizophrenia itself.
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