Despite its significant decline in the general population, smoking remains endemic and highly prevalent among people with mental disorders. The impact of smoking-attributable morbidity on life expectancy is significant since, in comparison to the general population, people with severe mental disorders have a 15–20-year reduction in life expectancy. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1015 people with mental disorders through personal interviews. The questionnaire was designed to examine these patients' knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes towards smoking. Individuals were recruited from the mental health residential community services, the outpatient department, and the inpatient facilities of the Psychiatric Hospital of Attica. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 26.0. In the sample analyzed, the current-smoking prevalence stood at 68.4% (n=643), while 12.3% reported being former smokers. A staggering 86.3% smoked their first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up, indicating a high level of dependence. Most of the former smokers (83.6%) reported that their main reason for quitting smoking was to improve their health, and the overwhelming majority (97.4%) had done so using no smoking cessation aid. Although slightly over half of the participants (53.7%) believed that health professionals adequately inform smokers about the harmful health effects of tobacco products, the information provided by health professionals on smoking cessation programs and tobacco harm reduction alternatives was considered sufficient by a mere 11.2%. Multiple logistic regression analysis demonstrated that outpatients tended to have a greater likelihood of being current smokers as compared to inpatients (OR=1.45), while users of mental health residential community services showed a significantly lower likelihood of being current smokers in comparison to inpatients (OR=0.49). Additionally, it was found that women had a lower likelihood of being current smokers compared to men (OR=0.51), while divorced/ widowed participants had a greater likelihood of being current smokers compared to single ones (OR=1.93). Finally, multiple regression analysis indicated that participants with psychotic disorders displayed a 2.39 times greater likelihood of being current smokers compared to those with mood disorders (OR=2.39). Understanding the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of people with mental disorders towards tobacco is an essential first step to confronting this neglected epidemic.

KEYWORDS: Smoking cessation, mental disorder, smoking, mental health, schizophrenia, mood disorders.

Georgia Papadosifaki, Vasiliki Psarra, Charalampos Touloumis, Chara Tzavara, Konstantinos Farsalinos, Evanthia Sakellari, Areti Lagiou, Anastasia Barbouni


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