Understanding Factors Affecting Smoking Cessation Efforts of Individuals with Severe Mental Illness

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Pereira, Terrika
Chang, Yu-Ping, Dr.
Smoking cessation , Mental illness , Comorbidity , Text messaging (Cell phone systems) , Motivational interviewing
Purpose: To describe factors influencing smoking cessation efforts of those with severe mental illness (SMI) during an intervention comprised of Motivational Interviewing and text messaging. Design and Methods: After completing a pre-test/post-test designed intervention lasting 4 weeks, 8 participants were interviewed regarding their experiences after an 8 week follow up. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Factors discouraging participants from smoking cessation included use of habitual use of cigarettes, nicotine as a stimulant, use of nicotine for stress and anxiety relief, negative peer influences and a lack of support. Factors that facilitated participants to move forward with their smoking cessation goals included family encouragement and influence, utilization of coping mechanisms, and increased support via text messaging. Implications: A better understanding of discouraging and facilitating factors will help the refinement of future behavioral interventions for smoking cessation.