Objective: To evaluate a smoking reduction and cessation intervention tailored for people with significant disability associated with mental illness. Method: The intervention was a 10 week group programme, which tailored smoking cessation interventions to the needs of people living with mental illness. It was facilitated by mental health workers and peer workers and was promoted through mental health services, general practitioners and the Quitline phone service. Participants were people living with mental illness who had asked for help to quit or reduce their tobacco use. Participants were interviewed before starting the course, twice during the course and at 3, 6 and 12 months post course completion. Results: Overall, 226 people expressed interest, 183 attended at least one session of the course and 105 attended at least 10 sessions. Of the 183 participants, 79.8% reported they did not smoke for at least 24 hours, with 30.6% stopping for at least 30 days. At the 12 month follow up 16.6% of participants reported they were not smoking. Of the 105 participants who attended at least 10 sessions of the course, 85.7% reported they did not smoke for at least 24 hours and 37.1% stopping for at least 30 days. At 12 month follow up 21.3% reported they were not smoking. Cigarettes smoked per day declined among those who did not quit, and was still significantly lower after 12 months. Motivation to try to quit was high among those still smoking at 12 months, with 83.9% wanting to try again to quit. Conclusions: This programme has shown many people with significant disability associated with mental illness are motivated to attend a smoking reduction and cessation group programme. A programme tailored to meet the specific needs of this group can be effective in helping many to quit or reduce their tobacco use.
- Mental illness
- Peer workers