Mental Health Care Professionals: Help Your Patients Quit Smoking
As a mental health professional, you play an important role in fighting tobacco use and reducing its health consequences. Many smokers with mental health conditions want to quit smoking and need support and motivation from their health care providers to be successful.
Studies show that people with mental health conditions are more likely to smoke than those who don’t. Primary care and mental health care providers should routinely screen patients for tobacco use and offer evidence-based smoking cessation treatments. You can help by asking patients about their tobacco use and providing support and education about cessation to those who smoke.
The Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) campaign can serve a powerful conversation starter with your patients about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. The Tips campaign offers resources for you and your patients to read and discuss. With the support of CDC materials, you can help more patients live smoke-free lives.
How to Help Your Patients Quit Smoking
The following resources can help your patients on their quit journey:
- FAQs for Health Care Providers
- FAQs about how quitlines work and their effectiveness
- The Tips From Former Smokers Download Center includes videos to show in your waiting room, radio ads, print ads, and more free resources.
Resources for Your Patients and Practice
- Free videos, print ads, radio ads, and other Tips campaign materials from the Tips Download Center to show in your waiting room.
- Free notepads (with the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline number and CDC logo) to use in your practice (enter “notepad” in search bar on publication catalog Web page).
- Explain the health consequences of smoking. Use Rebecca’s Tips ad as an example of the benefits of quitting
- Encourage your patients to visit the I'm Ready to Quit page on the Tips Web site. You may also link to this page from your practice's Web site.
- Let your patients know that they can get free quit help by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855 DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers).
Resources for Mental Health Professionals
The following resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help you learn more about smoking rates among people with mental health conditions and the importance of providing cessation education and support to those who want to quit:
- Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years with Mental Illness—United States, 2009–2011
- Vital Signs fact sheet: Adult Smoking, Focusing on People With Mental Illness
- Vital Signs podcast—Adult Smoking Among People with Mental Illness
- Vital Signs public service announcement: Adult Smoking Among People with Mental Illness
- Behavioral health resources and Clinician Assisted Tobacco Cessation Curriculum from the University of California San Francisco’s Smoking Cessation Leadership Center.
- Information dedicated to helping providers with behavioral health patients at HelpUsQuit.org.
- “Smoking and Behavioral Health: The Shocking Statistics” at SAMHSA-HRSA’s Center for Integrated Health Solutions.
- Toolkits from the University of California at San Francisco’s Smoking Cessation Leadership Center.
- Free treatment manuals and free videos from the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.
- The American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Substance Use Disorders[PDF - 2.86MB] (includes a section on nicotine dependence).
- Psychiatric Nurses as Champions for Smoking Cessation from the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
- Smoking and Mental Illness from the American Psychological Association.
- Policy statement developed by the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence entitled “Integrating Tobacco Treatment Within Behavioral Health.” [PDF - 50KB]
- Page last reviewed: March 29, 2016
- Page last updated: March 29, 2016
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