A review of the evidence for smoking cessation interventions in severe mental illness (SMI) was needed to inform clinical guidelines.
The review included a search of bibliographic databases for relevant studies and independently extracted data. It covered studies of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of smoking cessation or reduction conducted in adult smokers with SMI. Interventions were compared to usual care or placebo.
All trials recorded psychiatric symptoms and the most significant changes favoured the intervention groups over the control groups.
Treating tobacco dependence is effective in patients with SMI. Treatments that work in the general population work for those with severe mental illness and appear approximately equally effective. Treating tobacco dependence in patients with stable psychiatric conditions does not worsen mental state.