Are mental health nurses natural smoking cessation practitioners?
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Are mental health nurses natural smoking cessation practitioners?

Harriet Burgess Mental health nursing students, University of Manchester
Joanne Marie Ford Mental health nursing students, University of Manchester
Sarah Kendal Lecturer in mental health and learning disability, University of Huddersfield

Harriet Burgess and colleagues consider the issues surrounding smoking cessation strategies for people with mental health problems

People who have mental health problems have higher morbidity and mortality rates than the general population in the UK and they are particularly vulnerable to smoking and smoking-related diseases. It is important that nurses working with these service users help them to stop smoking as part of their holistic care. Mental health nurses often have person-centred therapy skills and have the opportunity to use motivational interviewing which could help clients to consider change. However, nurses may be ambivalent about whether smoking cessation is desirable in these circumstances and prefer to prioritise mental health. Appropriate education and training should be provided so that nurses can routinely apply their skills and knowledge to support smoking cessation. In this article it is also argued that nurses should address their own attitudes to smoking, particularly if they are smokers themselves.

Mental Health Practice. 19, 3, 34-37. doi: 10.7748/mhp.19.3.34.s19


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 13 August 2014

Accepted: 31 March 2015

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