Starting a conversation: smoking and mental health
Smoking and mental health
Let’s Start a Conversation is a campaign that encourages staff within the mental health sector to become comfortable starting conversations with their clients about stopping smoking.
- People with severe mental illness are likely to die earlier due to smoking related illness.
- Around 1 in 3 Tasmanians who smoke have a mental health disorder.
- Tasmanians with a mental health disorder are almost 2 times more likely to smoke.
Why you should talk about smoking
- Smoking increases the risk of anxiety and depression.
- It is also associated with an increased risk of psychosis and suicide.
- Stopping smoking for six weeks or more is linked with improved physical and mental health.
- It also helps improve your quality of life.
- Smoking only temporarily relieves nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the stress this causes.
- Smoking does not relieve any other stress.
- Stopping smoking may cause stress in the short term, but over time most people will feel less stressed.
How you can talk about smoking
Let’s Start a Conversation can help you start conversations with your clients about stopping smoking.
A = Ask
Ask all people if they smoke. Asking gives a person the opportunity to discuss their smoking.
B = Brief Advice
Give clear advice on the benefits of being smoke free. Personalise your advice to that person.
C = Cessation Support
Offer support, even if a person is not ready to quit. Recommend nicotine replacement therapy and refer to the Quitline.
People with mental illness who smoke can quit by using nicotine replacement therapy and receiving counselling.
Brochures and factsheets
- How do I talk about smoking? brochure
- What happens when you stop smoking timeline
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) brochure