Sunday, February 27, 2011

Smoking Cessation More Effective When Treated With PTSD

People with mental health difficulties or addictions tend to smoke more than the general public.

In a study by the Veterans Administration, "combining post-traumatic stress disorder treatment with smoking cessation is the best way to help such veterans stop smoking".

Veterans who were in both treatments concurrently were twice as likely to stop smoking as the participants treated for PTSD and sent separately to a smoking cessation clinic. In a 48 months follow-up to both approaches, those who stopped smoking were 9% in the integrated group versus 4.5%.

The results of the study also invalidated the assumption that smoking is a needed "coping mechanism and that encouraging people to quit smoking is a lost cause."

Data now shows that "smokers with mental concerns are just as ready to quit smoking as smokers in the general population," according to Judith Prochaska, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco.

The "integrated-care" participants ended up attending more smoking cessation sessions and were more likely to use medications to help, such as the nicotine patch.

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