Research published in the Lancet Psychiatry has found a dedicated intervention to help people with severe mental illness stop smoking can double quit rates at six months compared to standard care.
Led by the University of York’s Mental Health Addictions Research Group, SCIMITAR+ is the largest ever trial to support smoking cessation among people who use mental health services. Smoking rates among people with mental health conditions are among the highest of any group having changed little over the last 20 years, while other smokers have quit. This new study demonstrates that with the right support this inequality could be a thing of the past.
Mental health nurses were trained to deliver evidence based behavioural support to smokers with severe mental illness in smokers’ homes, alongside providing access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and medications. The researchers found that