Snuffing out tobacco dependence. Ten reasons behavioral health providers need to be involved

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine; Cost-Benefit Analysis; Efficiency; *Health Services Accessibility; Humans; Mentally Ill Persons; Quality of Life; Smoking Cessation; Tobacco Use Disorder; United States; Workplace




Ten years ago, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released its practice guideline for the treatment of patients with nicotine dependence, providing strategies for behavioral health practitioners to address tobacco dependence. Since then, new medications for tobacco dependence have become available, financial incentives (i.e., through greater third-party reimbursement) for treatment have increased, and both patient and staff interest on this topic has grown.

Yet a great opportunity to expand tobacco-dependence treatment and create more smoke-free workplaces remains. Most public and private mental health and addiction services do not provide tobacco-dependence treatment, although model programs exist and new clinician resources are available. External pressure from state governments or accrediting bodies has motivated some organizations to become tobacco-free settings; in others, leaders have been motivated by the desire to do the right thing. And people have become more aware that smoking is more prevalent among those with behavioral health disorders, and that most patients with behavioral health disorders die from tobacco-related diseases.

This article updates readers on this topic and presents ten reasons behavioral health practitioners should treat tobacco dependence.


Behav Healthc. 2006 May;26(5):27-31. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavioral healthcare

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID