Readiness to Quit Smoking and Quit Attempts Among Australian Mental Health Inpatients

Corresponding Author: Emily Stockings, B.Psyc. (Hons), University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia. E-mail: .
Nicotine & Tobacco Research (Impact Factor: 3.3). 04/2012; 15(5). DOI: 10.1093/ntr/nts206


Mental health inpatients smoke at higher rates than general population smokers. However, provision of nicotine-dependence treatment in inpatient settings is low, with barriers to the provision of such care including staff views that patients do not want to quit. This paper reports the findings of a survey of mental health inpatients at a psychiatric hospital in New South Wales, Australia, assessing smoking and quitting motivations and behaviors.

Smokers (n = 97) were surveyed within the inpatient setting using a structured survey tool, incorporating the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, Reasons for Quitting Scale, Readiness and Motivation to Quit Smoking Questionnaire, and other measures of smoking and quitting behavior.

Approximately 47% of smokers reported having made at least one quit attempt within the past 12 months, despite nearly three quarters (71.2%) being classified as in a “precontemplative” stage of change. Multinomial logistic regressions revealed that self-reporting “not enjoying being a smoker” and having made a quit attempt in the last 12 months predicted having advanced beyond a precontemplative stage of change. A high self-reported desire to quit predicted a quit attempt having been made in the last 12 months.

The majority of smokers had made several quit attempts, with a large percentage occurring recently, suggesting that the actual quitting behavior should be considered as an important indication of the “desire to quit.” This paper provides further data supporting the assertion that multimodal smoking cessation interventions combining psychosocial and pharmacological support should be provided to psychiatric inpatients who smoke.

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