Problem: People with mental illness are twice as likely to smoke than people without a mental illness.
Methods: Data were collected through interviews with individuals who smoke and have been diagnosed with schizophrenia (N = 100). The research design included a descriptive, correlational design that described and examined the relationships among psychiatric symptoms, medication side effects, and reasons for smoking; and a qualitative analysis of the subjective experience of smoking.
Findings: A positive relationship was found between the age of onset of smoking and the onset of schizophrenia. Subjects reported they smoked primarily for sedative effects and control of negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Subjects also reported smoking related to addiction. Most indicated they would like to quit smoking or at least cut down on the number of cigarettes.
Conclusions: Among people with schizophrenia, the motivation to smoke is related to their schizophrenia.