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Persistence targeted smoking cessation for smokers with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder: a feasibility study

  • Marc L. Steinberg (a1), Benjamin Billingsley (a2), Rachel Rosen (a2), Elizabeth E. Epstein (a3), Shou-En Lu (a4), Nicole Weickert (a2) and Jill M. Williams (a1)...



Individuals with schizophrenia are more likely to smoke and less likely to quit smoking than those without schizophrenia. Because task persistence is lower in smokers with than without schizophrenia, it is possible that lower levels of task persistence may contribute to greater difficulties in quitting smoking observed among smokers with schizophrenia.


To develop a feasible and acceptable intervention for smokers with schizophrenia.


Participants (N = 24) attended eight weekly individual cognitive behavioral therapy sessions for tobacco use disorder with a focus on increasing task persistence and received 10 weeks of nicotine patch.


In total, 93.8% of participants rated the intervention as at least a 6 out of 7 regarding how ‘easy to understand’ it was and 81.3% rated the treatment as at least a 6 out of 7 regarding how helpful it was to them. A total of 62.5% attended at least six of the eight sessions and session attendance was positively related to nicotine dependence and age and negatively related to self-efficacy for quitting.


This intervention was feasible and acceptable to smokers with schizophrenia. Future research will examine questions appropriate for later stages of therapy development such as initial efficacy of the intervention and task persistence as a mediator of treatment outcome.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Marc L. Steinberg, E-mail:


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Persistence targeted smoking cessation for smokers with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder: a feasibility study

  • Marc L. Steinberg (a1), Benjamin Billingsley (a2), Rachel Rosen (a2), Elizabeth E. Epstein (a3), Shou-En Lu (a4), Nicole Weickert (a2) and Jill M. Williams (a1)...


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