Pharmacy guidance on smoking and mental disorder

People with mental disorders have a 10-20 year lower life expectancy with smoking recognised as the single largest preventable cause. Smoking among people with mental disorders has changed little over the past two decades, in contrast with the rest of the general population.  

The RPS has endorsed a pharmacy guide on smoking and mental disorder from the Royal College of Psychiatrists which outlines how pharmacists can help reduce or stop smoking in this group as well as suggesting appropriate changes to medication doses.


Pharmacists are ideally placed:
•    to encourage patients to stop smoking, 
•    to explain the benefits of smoking cessation
•    to support smoking reduction as a first step to cessation promoting a healthier lifestyle 
•    to counsel patients on the lifestyle change
•    to facilitate change to patients’ medication doses where appropriate


Chief Pharmacist at the Maudsley Hospital Professor David Taylor, one of the authors of the guide, said: “Around 42% of adults in England who smoke have a mental disorder, yet they often don’t get the help they need to quit. 


“This is despite the fact that stopping smoking has an impact on symptoms of anxiety and depression at least equivalent to taking antidepressants, as well as reducing the above average mortality rates this group.


“Encouraging smoking cessation or reducing smoking behaviour in people with mental health disorders should be a priority for every pharmacist.  The guide outlines how pharmacists can help and the main pharmacotherapy approaches to helping patients change their smoking habits.”


With the right support those with a mental disorder are able to stop smoking.  Download the guide today.

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