Smoking behavior can be modified in psychiatric inpatients, Dr. Ioannis Michopoulos and his coauthors from Attikon University Hospital in Athens, report.

In a prospective study of 330 patients admitted to a nonsmoking psychiatric ward, of which 170 were smokers, 83.5% of smokers were able to cut back on daily cigarette consumption. Nursing staff implemented simple measures aimed at smoking reduction, such as removing cigarettes from the environment, reviewing past attempts at quitting, and anticipating withdrawal challenges. The mean number of cigarettes per day was 32.2 at admission and 14.1 at discharge, the authors wrote. Schizophrenia patients were more likely to smoke than were patients with mood disorders.

“Our findings indicate that seriously mentally ill psychiatric inpatients despite negative preconceptions and stereotypes are able to reduce their smoking easily without side effects with minimal intervention,” Dr. Michopoulos and his associates said in the report.

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