Pilot Program Shows Promising Results in Smoking Cessation for Mentally Ill Patients

A new program is showing promise in helping mentally ill people quit smoking. The pilot program’s success is surprising therapists who have long assumed that people with mental illness are not interested in quitting smoking, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The pilot program, being conducted at an outpatient psychiatric clinic in New York City, has helped some patients feel more confident, the article says. Almost half of cigarettes sold in the United States are smoked by people with a serious mental illness, according to the newspaper.

The program uses nicotine replacement therapy and individual counseling with therapists who are trained to keep patients motivated and to work through obstacles.

Greg Miller, Medical Director of the Division of Adult Services at the New York State Office of Mental Health, told the newspaper that smoking traditionally was viewed as a way to keep mentally ill patients calm and entertained, and was used as a reward for good behavior in psychiatric hospitals.

Smoking not only has a high financial cost for people with mental illness, but it also takes a heavy toll on their health, causing high rates of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Some states have begun addressing the problem of smoking’s toll on the mentally ill. But while about 60 percent of state mental hospitals prohibit smoking, only one-third of them offer smoking cessation programs, the article notes.

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    michael brown

    April 26, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    humans have a capacity and ability and desire to feel euphoric, content peaceful, energetic, etc etc. look at the nursing baby,and the nursing mother, if she is healthy and content. because of stress, lack of exercise, bad food TV soda pop, etc etc etc the brains ability to produce the chemicals and feelings of goodness are inhibited. for example, mothers who live within a certain distance of a freeway, have a higher rate of babies with autism, because the toxins inhibit the dopamine cells. almost predominately for males, as autism is a male dominated disease, for some reason, female dopamine cells are not affected so much by the traffic toxins, autism is a disorder that manifests very much in fine motor skills and verble skills that are much affected by low dopamine. Vit d has been linked to autism, maybe because vit d helps with dopamine production. Magnesium triggers, serotonin and is a neuro-protector, but in a diet of refined foods and refined sugars, magnesium can easily become deficient. etc etc. lets upgrade our health by upgrading our food and lifestyle. educate people, that the garbage they put in their stomach, and the garbage they put in their eyes and ears, will have a signifcantly harmful, affect and that the benefit of good foods and good lives is significant.

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