Smoking Cessation and Electronic Cigarettes in Community Mental Health Centers: Patient and Provider Perspectives

Community Ment Health J. 2017 Aug;53(6):695-702. doi: 10.1007/s10597-016-0065-8. Epub 2016 Nov 30.


Little is known about patients' electronic cigarette use, interest in and use of smoking cessation treatments, and providers' attitude towards such treatment. We assessed patients (N = 231) and providers (45 psychiatrists, 97 case workers) in four Community Mental Health Centers. Interestingly, 50% of smokers reported interest in using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking, and 22% reported current use. While 82% of smokers reported wanting to quit or reduce smoking, 91% of psychiatrists and 84% of case workers reported that patients were not interested in quitting as the lead barrier, limiting the provision of cessation interventions. Providers' assumption of low patient interest in treatment may account for the low rate of smoking cessation treatment. In contrast, patients report interest and active use of electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. This study highlights the need for interventions targeting different phases of smoking cessation in these patients suffering disproportionately from tobacco dependence.

Keywords: Electronic cigarettes; Implementation; Mental illness; Smoking cessation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Community Mental Health Centers* / statistics & numerical data
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*