Feature Article

Smokers with depression: helping them quit

Kay Wilhelm, Robyn Richmond, Nicholas Zwar, Alex D Wodak

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Abstract

Helping smokers with current or past depression quit smoking can be challenging. A range of online resources and telephone services are available for clinicians to complement smoking cessation treatment for these patients.

Key Points

  • Continuing smokers with depression are more likely to be nicotine dependent, to smoke more heavily and to have problems stopping smoking.
  • It is important to understand the specific relation between depression and smoking in individual patients.
  • Addressing both smoking cessation and depression has multiple benefits for mental and physical health.
  • Useful strategies to help patients quit include motivational interviewing and development of a smoking cessation plan in collaboration with patients.
  • A collaborative multifaceted approach is often required, with referral to Quitline, to a tobacco treatment specialist and/or for psychological support.
  • A range of online resources and telephone services are available for use by clinicians to complement treatment.

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