Association of Mental Health Providers

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Stop smoking services may improve mental health of smokers

As members of the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership, MHPF is pleased to support the new research conducted by King’s College London and Charles University, Prague looking at the use of stop smoking services for people with depression. The research found that smokers with depression who successfully quit smoking using stop smoking services may see an improvement in their mental health.

Smoking rates among people with mental health conditions are more than double those of the general population and it is estimated that of the 9.6 million adult smokers in the UK, around 3 million have a mental health condition. Two-thirds of those who had moderate or severe depression when smoking described no or minimal symptoms during a one-year follow up.

Kathy Roberts, MHPF’s Chief Executive, commented:

“The smoking rates amongst people with mental health conditions are disproportionately high, with smoking being the single largest factor contributing to a lower life expectancy associated with a mental health condition. This research supports the notion that this vulnerable group needs more specialist and effective support, and voluntary providers form a vital part of the pathway for service users in reducing smoking rates of those with mental health problems.”

Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London and Co-Chair of the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership, Professor Ann McNeill has issued this comment:

“Smoking rates are considerably higher among people with mental health conditions including depression, but this landmark study shows that with appropriate help, quitting is possible! This underlines the need for effective stop smoking services and that these life-saving services must therefore by maintained in the face of budget constraints.”

The research has been funded by Cancer Research UK, also members of the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership, who have issued a press release publicising the findings of the research in further detail.