Smoking Cessation in People with Schizophrenia
Melanie E. Bennett, Amy L. Wilson, Margo Genderson and Alice M. Saperstein
Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 737 West Lombard Street, Suite 551, Baltimore, Maryland, 21201, USA.
Objective: High rates of smoking and nicotine dependence have a profoundly negative impact on the health and
well being of individuals with schizophrenia. Treating smoking is a critical step in improving the health and quality of life
of people affected by this illness. This paper reviews the literature on smoking cessation interventions in schizophrenia
and discusses potential barriers to effective treatment with this population.
Methods: The criteria used to select studies for inclusion were: (1) Sample included 50% or more individuals with
schizophrenia spectrum diagnosis (SSD); (2) Some individual or group intervention for smoking cessation was provided;
and (3) Some smoking-related outcome variable was measured (self-reported smoking, breath carbon monoxide, etc).
Results: Both pharmacologic and psychosocial smoking cessation treatments have been found to be useful in helping
individuals with schizophrenia reduce and quit smoking in the short term. Few interventions have been found to be
effective in promoting smoking abstinence in the long term.
Conclusions: Intervention development must include strategies to overcome barriers to smoking cessation that are most
relevant to individuals with schizophrenia and focus on translating short term gains into long term abstinence.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, smoking cessation, treatment.
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