Smoking and mental health

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Old man smoking

Client: Cancer Council NSW and NSW Health

Over a four year period we worked closely with Cancer Council NSW and NSW Health to understand why smoking rates were higher in people with mental illness than in other populations, and realised that clinicians were reluctant to help their patients quit due to uncertainty and misinformation. We identified that clinicians could safely advise their patients to quit, and provided guidance to support the process. We worked with a multidisciplinary group to develop practical clinical tools for nurses working in psychiatric hospitals. We developed and delivered workshops which advocated for change and provided practical solutions to problems faced by staff around the state. And, most importantly, we laid the foundations for further preventive activities, such as Cancer Council NSW’s Tackling Tobacco to be carried on by others.

Our work was based on our review of the literature, published as Smoke and mirrors.

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Mark Ragg
Location: Sydney
Description: Writer, editor, researcher, health. Director at Ragg & Co Honorary Fellow Indigenous health @UTS_GSH Editor @CroakeyNews Working for equity and social justice
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