A case for identifying smoking in presentations to the emergency department with suicidality

Australas Psychiatry. 2018 Apr;26(2):176-180. doi: 10.1177/1039856218757638. Epub 2018 Feb 8.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify mental health and lifestyle factors predicting smoking among people at high risk of suicidal behaviour.

Methods: Participants ( n = 363) completed self-report mental health and lifestyle measures at first appointment in a hospital clinic following presentation to the emergency department for deliberate self-harm or suicidal ideation.

Results: The rate of daily smoking in this group, 61.4%, is more than four times the rate observed in the general population. Those with a history of previous deliberate self-harm were twice as likely to be smokers. Each one-point increase in poor health behaviours increased the odds of smoking by 22%.

Conclusions: Identifying and managing smoking and related lifestyle behaviours are important considerations in routine clinical assessments.

Keywords: ED clinic intervention; deliberate self-harm; smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult