Developing Smoking Cessation Program in Mental Health Facility


DevelopingSmoking Cessation Program in Mental Health Facility

Smokingis one of the significant factors that contribute immensely to highmortality for patients with mental health. Tobacco use amongpsychiatric patients increases their chances of health deteriorationand subsequent death (Guebaly,et al 2014).There is a close link between smoking and mental illness. Mosthealthcare professionals view smoking and mental illness asinextricably related and they believe that treating both healthproblems to be challenging. Systemic and treatment aspects thatcontribute to existing disparities in tobacco use and tobacco relatedmortality receives dismal attention from health researchers andprofessionals at large.

Combatingsmoking in healthcare settings has had historical hindrances. Twodecades ago, joint commission had a proposal to execute national banon tobacco use in all healthcare institutions. Such a ban came afterserious consideration of the existing contradiction of the hospitals’mission statement by the administration. Hospitals aim at promotinghealth, but exposure rate to tobacco smoke was too high. Thecommission considered the plight of non-smokers and patients,especially because the smoking hampers recovery process. Afterproposing the ban, there was uproar from advocacy group for mentalpatients. They opposed the ban strongly citing the possibility ofrevolt from psychiatric patients who need cigarettes for their mentalwell-being.

Fortunately,several health institutions adopted the proposal voluntarily. Theydocument positive progress of their patients, especially inpsychiatric department. Adoption of the ban facilitated efficiency inservice delivery due to less interruption. In addition, there were nosignificant disturbances from mental patients. Staff members hadadequate time to attend to patients and perform other duties withinthe institution hence improved productivity. These experiences act asa motivation towards adopting tobacco-free hospital environment.

Besidesopposition from advocacy groups, tobacco treatment faces severalother challenges, especially in mental health patients. Severaldominant myths hinder treatment and cessation efforts. Tobaccosmoking is popularly associated with self-medication for mentalpatients (Guebaly,et al 2014 and Hughes, et al 2014).Most people view nicotine as an effective remedy for reinforcing rateof concentration and restoring attention. There is also a belief thatpsychiatric patients have no interest in quitting smoking. As thisbelief sink in one’s mind, he or she develops a negative attitudetowards tobacco use treatment. In addition, some people believe andpropagate the belief that mental patients cannot quit smoking. Suchstatement makes patients believe that quitting smoking has an adverseeffect on the recovery process (Ferron,et al 2014).Finally, some people argue that psychiatric patients giveinsignificant priority to quitting smoking. This research aims atdemystifying these myths and propose an appropriate smoking cessationprogram for mental health facilities.


Asmoking cessation program for mental health facilities aim at helpinghealth workers provide quality care through a holistic approach. Theprogram equips healthcare professionals in the facility with positiveattitude towards treatment efforts. These efforts include tacklingparticular mental disorder and smoking challenge simultaneously.Instead of treating mental problems alone, healthcare provider oughtto discuss smoking issues with the patient. Such effort tends to givepositive results since it reduces cases of repetitive illness(Guebaly,et al 2014).It is clear that smoking among mental patients heightens rate ofdeterioration and facilitates the emergence of cardiovascularillnesses.

Smokingcessation program aims at incorporating all relevant stakeholders. Itproposes a close relationship between the healthcare provider and thepatient. In addition, it calls for counseling session facilitated bypsychiatrists and psychology counselors (Himelhoch,&amp Daumit, 2014).Psychiatric nurses also need to establish a monitoring program toassess the progress. It adopts a holistic approach in tacklingtobacco dependence thus helping the patient to remain committedtowards cessation program.

Statementof the problem and Resources assessment

Increasingmortality rate among mental patients raises serious concerns amonghealthcare professionals. The research links high mortality andmorbidity rate to tobacco dependence among mental patients. Mentallyill smokers are more likely to stay ill than patients that do notsmoke. Again, the smoking mental patient has high chances of dyingthan other people in the population (Schmitz,et al 2014).Rising death rate issues serious warning to healthcare professionalsand relevant authorities to take appropriate action to correct thealready desperate situation. Most researchers seem not to haveserious attention on this particular health challenge. Healthcareprofessionals also have less concern for smoking tendencies amongmental patients. They only concentrate on treating the particularmental disorder, but gives no attention to smoking hence the highmortality rate among the patients suffering from mental illness.

Despiteof knowledge on effects of tobacco smoking on an individual’shealth, stakeholders express less interest in equipping thepopulation with relevant information. There is clear evidence ofadvocacy group supporting tobacco smoking for mental patients. Suchcivil society organizations use their popularity to mislead thepublic. They have no interest in educating the public on the dangersof tobacco smoking. In addition, cigarette manufacturers invest hugeamount of money in publishing misleading adverts on effects oftobacco. Because of conflicting interest among differentstakeholders, tobacco smoking remains a serious threat to mentalpatients and the entire population (Schmitz,et al 2014).

PlanningProcess and Identification of Priorities

Smokingcessation would require maximum support for all healthcareprofessionals working in mental health facilities across the country.It may also involve input of legal experts and policy makers thatwould have significant influence on the public. The program will bepart of an administration tool to ensure mental health patientsacquire quality healthcare. It spells out the procedure of handlingpatients and engaging them in the smoking debate. Nurses have a dutyof establishing patients’ opinion concerning the issue of tobaccouse (Himelhoch,&amp Daumit, 2014).At this stage, nursing staff may involve psychiatrists’ attention,especially when the patient is willing to quit.

Patient’swelfare will have top priority and the administration need to ensurethat healthcare providers concentrate on future outcomes. This mayrequire the institution to engage patients for longer period sincehealthcare providers may need to tackle mental problem and smokingchallenge concurrently. It would also call for financial commitmentfrom the patient’s family. If the family is not able to meet thetreatment expenses, the program caters for funding from well-wishers.It involves corporate world in contributing towards a smokingcessation program. Such initiative seems to have a positive impact onthe overall health in the population.

Communityeducation and mobilization is also part of the smoking cessationprogram. It recognizes the need to involve the social workers.Community needs accurate information concerning tobacco use and theeffects on mental patients. This would encourage family members andthe society to participate in encouraging patients to engagecessation program. It would also provide a challenge to proponents ofmyths that have been misleading the population for many years.


Smokingis a dangerous behavior and contributes to a considerable percentageof deaths in the society. The behavior thrives on people’signorance and existence of myths that seem to encourage tobacco use.Mental patients happen to be the most affected by these misleadingcampaigns propagated by advocacy groups. Unfortunately, thegovernment seems to be quiet on the issue and health professionalsare dormant in providing public education. Consequently, the societywitnesses high mortality and morbidity rate among mental patients. Itis therefore high time to issue counter-statements and efforts aimedat reversing the situation. Smoking cessation program is a criticaltool that tends to improve the health condition of patients andpromote healthy living in entire population.


el-Guebaly,N., Cathcart, J., Currie, S., Brown, D., &amp Gloster, S. (2014).Smoking cessation approaches for persons with mental illness oraddictive disorders.

Ferron,J. C., Brunette, M. F., He, X., Xie, H., McHugo, G. J., &amp Drake,R. E. (2014). Course of smoking and quit attempts among clients withco-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorders.

Himelhoch,S., &amp Daumit, G. (2014). To whom do psychiatrists offersmoking-cessation counseling?.

Hughes,J. R., Stead, L. F., Hartmann‐Boyce,J., Cahill, K., &amp Lancaster, T. (2014). Antidepressants forsmoking cessation. TheCochrane Library.

Schmitz,N., Kruse, J., &amp Kugler, J. (2014). Disabilities, quality oflife, and mental disorders associated with smoking and nicotinedependence.

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