Simon Gilbody: The links between smoking and mental ill health

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Professor Simon Gilbody, Director, Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG), University of York, discussed the effects of smoking, indicating that it was the most important, modifiable risk factor in severe mental ill health at our 2014 event on mental health. He looked at what can be done to challenge the prevalence of smoking among people with mental ill health, touching on NICE public health guidelines that he claimed could be a 'game-changer in mental health'.

Read the transcript of Simon's presentation.

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Joan Link

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Comment date
15 February 2014
I listened to this with interest, but surprised that you didn't talk more about the effect of smoking on the levels of medication needed by patients with SMI. It took years of nagging about smoking by psychiatric care workers before anyone mentioned this to my son (suffering from schizoid-affective disorder since about 18, with quite severe paranoia brought on by use of illegal drugs.) He may have a SMI, but he is very intelligent, and although he still smokes, this was the argument which carried a lot of weight for him. Isn't some of what's needed to treat SMI patients more like adults with common sense and intelligence, rather than like naughty children?

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