Addictive Behaviors Reports (January 2020)

Smoking cessation in inpatient psychiatry treatment facilities: A review 

Robert Kagabo, Adam J. Gordon, Kola Okuyemi


  • Smoking rates are high among people with psychiatric illness.
  • Smoking cessation interventions are rarely available in inpatient psychiatry settings.
  • Smokers with psychiatric illness are just as interested in quitting smoking.



Tobacco-related diseases are a leading cause of death among individuals with severe mental illness (SMI), yet interventions to address tobacco cessation are rare in inpatient settings where persons with SMI are hospitalized. While cigarette smoking rates have declined in the general population, they remain high in persons with SMI. Inpatient settings would be a prime location to intervene on tobacco consumption among persons with SMI. The objective of this review was to examine evidence of smoking cessation interventions in psychiatric inpatient facilities.


Using narrative overview guidelines, we searched PubMed, PsycINFO, and CINAHL for smoking cessation RCT studies published between 1950 and 2018. Studies included had to have at least started in inpatient psychiatry settings. Examples of search terms included: smoking cessation in inpatient psychiatry, smoking cessation in inpatient mental health treatment facilities, and smoking cessation and mental health.


Following the inclusion criteria, eight RCT studies were reviewed. One study was among adolescent psychiatric inpatient smokers ages 13–17, and 7 were among adult psychiatric inpatients with mean age 41 years. Treatment periods lasting 8 to 12 weeks started in inpatient settings and continued post discharge. A combination of behavioral and pharmacological interventions were used. Pharmacological interventions were nicotine replacement therapies, and at least one study used varenicline. At baseline, participants smoked an average of 18.1 cigarettes per day.


Smoking cessation in inpatient psychiatry settings is rare or delayed. There is a need for more tailored treatments among this population to help them quit smoking.

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