Are Australian smokers with mental illness receiving adequate smoking cessation and harm reduction information

Published on May 2, 2018in International Journal of Mental Health Nursing3.503
· DOI :10.1111/INM.12465
Ratika Sharma-Kumar1
Estimated H-index: 1
Carla Meurk15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Centre for Mental Health)
+ 2 AuthorsCoral Gartner28
Estimated H-index: 28
Provision of smoking cessation support in the form of advice and information is central to increasing quit rates, including among people with mental illness (MI), who have 3-5 times higher odds of smoking than those without MI. This study investigated the extent and perceived utility of quit smoking advice and information available to Australian smokers with MI through face-to-face, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 29 current smokers with MI. Qualitative analysis identified four major sources of quit smoking advice and information: (i) mental health practitioners; (ii) Quitline; (iii) social networks; and (iv) Internet and media. All identified sources, including formal sources (mental health practitioners and Quitline), were perceived as providing inadequate information about quitting smoking, particularly regarding optimal usage of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Social networks emerged as a substantial source of quit smoking advice and information, especially for nontraditional methods such as vaping. Participants showed high interest in receiving support from peer-led smoking cessation groups. A minority of participants reported that they had received quit smoking information from Internet and media; this was largely restricted to negative reports about e-cigarettes and short advertisements for nicotine replacement therapy. Our findings suggest that more can be done to provide smokers with MI with practical smoking cessation advice and support. Comprehensive information resources tailored for smokers with MI should be developed and disseminated via multiple pathways. We also recommend a number of policy and practice reforms to promote smoking cessation among those with MI.
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