Smoking Cessation in Mental Health
Friday 21 October 2016
De Vere West One, London
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“Action is needed to address the growing difference in smoking rates among those with a mental health condition compared to the general population. There is no single measure that will transform outcomes but a whole systems approach is needed that involves staff across mental health, physical health and social care, and empowers individuals to realise their goals of being smokefree.” The Stolen Years – The Mental Health and Smoking Action report, 2016
“While smoking rates amongst the general population have fallen dramatically in the past few decades they have remained stubbornly high amongst people with mental health conditions. Seventy percent of those discharged from a psychiatric hospital are smokers. The result is lives cut short and in their final years lives blighted by heart and lung diseases, stroke and cancer. These are the stolen years - of life, of health and of wealth. There is an urgent need for action to tackle this growing health inequality. A third of all tobacco now smoked in England is by someone with a mental health condition. Yet the desire to quit is just as strong as for the average smoker. These smokers do not lack motivation to quit but are more likely to be highly addicted and heavily dependent on tobacco, and therefore need more help. When ASH asked smokers with a mental health condition if anyone providing inpatient care had offered them help to stop smoking two thirds told us no one had. Even among those who had been asked, few had been offered real support. Harm can occur not just when something happens, acts of omission cause harm too. For the goal of “parity of esteem” to be meaningful, people with mental health conditions need help to quit smoking. Change can happen. This report documents what works to help people with mental health conditions quit. But to reverse the trends and return those stolen years leaders and professionals in every part of the health and social care system must act. Reversing decades of inaction requires a social movement across the whole system which hard wires service user and carer voice and experience into a common endeavour to support more people with a mental health condition become smokefree. This is not a quick fix, nor will it be easy, but without a collective effort we will continue to condemn millions of the most vulnerable people in our society to needless death and disease..” Paul Burstow, Chair, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of health & social care at City University, London, & Chair, The Stolen Years – The Mental Health and Smoking Action report, 2016
“Mental health inpatient services should be smoke free by 2018.” The Mental Health Taskforce Strategy, February 2016
This conference features a number of extended interactive sessions which will provide a practical guide to smoking cessation in mental health, ensuring your service effectively supports people with mental illness to stop smoking and does so within a smoke free environment.
Smoking Cessation in Mental Health, and delivering smoke free environments is key to the government ambition for parity of esteem and to reduce the lower life expectancy of people with mental health disorders: “Smoking remains the primary cause of preventable illness and premature death in England, and evidence shows that people living with mental health problems are more likely to smoke. Public Health England believe it is vital to reduce smoking rates among people living with mental health problems” Seamus Watson, national programme manager for wellbeing and mental health at Public Health England There will also be a focus on e-cigarettes. Deborah Arnott Chief Executive Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) & Specialist Advisory Committee Member, Smoking: Harm Reduction Quality Standard, NICE stated in October 2015 that “Organisations should consider the role of electronic cigarettes in supporting smokers to reduce harm to themselves and others”.