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Treating Nicotine Dependence Among Patients With Mental Health or Addictive Disorders


Patients with psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders have smoking rates that are two to four times higher than, and are likely to die 25 years earlier than, the general population. The Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence 2008 Update recommends that all smokers with psychiatric disorders be offered treatment to help them overcome their dependence on tobacco. Yet, less than 13% of psychiatrists offer smoking cessation counseling to these patients, leaving a ripe opportunity for other treatment team members to deliver interventions conveniently within the context of primary care settings. This activity dispels common misperceptions and summarizes the evidence on assisting patients with mental health and addictive disorders to quit smoking, including specific considerations for patients with depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Practical issues such as intervention timing and collaborating with other treatment team members are also discussed, and downloadable tools are provided to further assist clinicians in their practice.

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