Introduction: Individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses have a greater prevalence of smoking than the general population and are disproportionately affected by tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. Evidence-based tobacco treatment can aid such populations in their efforts at smoking cessation. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of tobacco treatment programmes within Mental Health and Addictions Services in Canada.
Aims: This study examines outcomes from an evidence-based tobacco treatment programme provided within community mental health services in Vancouver, Canada.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of 134 participants (from June 2010 to February 2012). Information on demographics, tobacco use and cessation history, substance use history, psychiatric disorder diagnosis, expired carbon monoxide level, and duration of treatment in the programme were obtained. Programme completion and smoking cessation/reduction were examined.
Results: Sixty-seven per cent completed the programme. Of those who completed, 26.7% were abstinent at the end-of-treatment and 50% (of those not achieving abstinence) reduced their consumption to at least 50% of their baseline cigarette consumption. Predictors of smoking cessation included having a social support for smoking cessation and lower nicotine dependence at baseline.
Conclusions: Evidence-based tobacco treatment within community mental health services is well received by individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. Such treatment can aid in their efforts towards smoking cessation. Future studies may need to assess factors that can enhance the integration of tobacco treatment within mental health services while providing tailored treatment that addresses the unique needs of smokers who have severe and persistent mental illness.