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Addiction. 2013 Aug;108(8):1487-94. doi: 10.1111/add.12163. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

The delivery of smoking cessation interventions to primary care patients with mental health problems.

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UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, University of Nottingham, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, Nottingham, UK.



To quantify the extent to which smokers with indicators of poor mental health receive smoking cessation support in primary care consultations compared with those without.


Cross-sectional study within a database of electronic primary care medical records.


A total of 495 general practices in the United Kingdom contributing data to The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database.


A total of 2 493 085 patients aged 16+ registered with a THIN practice for the year from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010.


The proportion of patients with a diagnostic Read code or British National Formulary (BNF) drug code indicating a mental health diagnosis or psychoactive medication prescription, respectively, who smoke and who have cessation advice or a smoking cessation medication prescription recorded during consultations within the 1-year study period.


Of 32 154 smokers, 50.6% [95% confidence interval (CI): 50.0-51.2] with a mental health diagnosis and 49.3% (95% CI: 49.0-49.7) of 96 285 smokers prescribed a psychoactive medication had a record of cessation advice, higher than the prevalence of advice recording in smokers without these indicators (33.4%, 95% CI: 33.3-33.6). Similarly, smoking cessation medication prescribing was higher: 11.2% (95% CI: 10.8-11.6) of smokers with a mental health diagnosis and 11.0% (95% CI: 10.8-11.2) of smokers prescribed psychoactive medication received a prescription, compared with 6.73% of smokers without these indicators (95% CI: 6.65-6.81). Smoking cessation support was offered in a lower proportion of consultations for smokers with indicators of poor mental health than for those without. Advice was recorded in 7.9% of consultations with smokers with a mental health diagnosis, 8.2% of consultations with smokers prescribed psychoactive medication and 12.3% of consultations with smokers without these indicators; comparable figures for prescribing of cessation medication were 2.9%, 3.2% and 4.4%, respectively.


Approximately half of smokers with indicators of poor mental health receive advice to quit during primary care consultations in the United Kingdom, and one in 10 receive a cessation medication. Interventions are lower per consultation for smokers with mental health indicators compared with smokers without mental health indicators.


Mental health; primary care; smoking cessation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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