Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Smoking Cessation and Serious Mental Illness

Drug Alcohol Depend; 2018 Jan; Hammett, et al

Quitting smoking was not associated with heightened binge drinking or symptoms of depression and anxiety among smokers with serious mental illness (SMI), a recent study found. This study is a secondary analysis of the OPTIN trial, which demonstrated the effectiveness of proactive outreach for smoking cessation among Minnesota Health Care Programs enrollees. Participants with ICD-9 codes indicating schizophrenia spectrum disorders, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders, or severe/recurrent major depressive disorder were categorized as having SMI (n=939); remaining smokers were categorized as non-SMI (n=1,382). Multivariable regressions modeled the association between incident smoking cessation and binge drinking, PHQ-2 depression scores, and PROMIS anxiety scores in the 2 groups. Researchers found:

  • Quitting smoking was not associated with binge drinking among those with SMI, but was associated with less binge drinking among those without SMI.
  • Quitting smoking was not associated with PHQ-2 depression scores among those with or without SMI.
  • However, quitting smoking was associated with lower mean PROMIS anxiety scores for those with SMI, but not those without SMI.


Hammett PJ, Lando HA, Taylor BC, et al. The relationship between smoking cessation and binge drinking, depression, and anxiety symptoms among smokers with serious mental illness. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019;194:128-135. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.08.043.

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