New Year’s Resolution 2019: Tobacco-Free Recovery



By: Doug Tipperman, MSW, Tobacco Policy Liaison, SAMHSA Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

Quitting smoking is a resolution many smokers set for themselves.  It’s widely known that quitting has significant health benefits, but did you know it also can improve a person’s mental health?  And for those with substance use disorders, smoking cessation is associated with increased odds of long-term recovery.

 

Smoking cessation is linked to decreased depression, anxiety, and stress.  It’s a factor in experiencing improved positive mood and quality of life, and is also related to improved substance use disorder recovery outcomes.  Research shows that quitting increases the odds of long-term recovery, whereas continued smoking increases the likelihood of relapse.

 

As a result of this evidence, SAMHSA developed the recently released toolkit, “Implementing Tobacco Cessation Programs in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings to aid in the integration of tobacco treatment in behavioral healthcare treatment.  The toolkit contains a quick guide providing an overview of the challenges associated with tobacco cessation and the benefits of being tobacco-free for those with substance use disorders.  It also includes tips that can be used in substance use disorder treatment programs to implement tobacco cessation programs of their own.

 

In addition, SAMHSA awarded a five-year grant to the University of California at San Francisco to establish the National Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Recovery.  The Center provides technical assistance, training, and educational resources to promote the adoption of tobacco-free facility/grounds policies and the integration of tobacco treatment into behavioral healthcare.

 

Research has consistently found that smokers with behavioral health conditions—like other smokers—want to quit, can quit, and benefit from evidence-based smoking cessation treatments.  Cessation counseling and medication significantly increase the chances of quitting.  The combination of counseling and medication is more effective than either is alone.  There are evidence-based resources to help smokers quit at www.smokefree.gov.

 

 

 



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