15/10/2020 Medicine Political Science Psychology
DOI: 10.1192/bjo.2020.100 SemanticScholar ID: 222826280 MAG: 3093252582

Challenges and solutions to nicotine replacement therapy access: observations from SCIMITAR+

Publication Summary

Background Given that smoking results in poor physical and mental health, reducing tobacco harm is of high importance. Recommendations published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to reduce smoking harms included provision of support, use of nicotine containing products and commissioning of smoking cessation services. Aims This report explores the difficulties in obtaining such support, as observed in a recently conducted randomised controlled trial in patients with severe mental ill health, and outlines suggestions to improve facilitation of provision. Method Data collected during the Smoking Cessation Intervention for Severe Mental Ill Health Trial (SCIMITAR+) (trial Registration ISRCTN72955454), was reviewed to identify the difficulties experienced, across the trial, with regards to access and provision of nicotine replacements therapy (NRT). Actions taken to facilitate access and provision of NRT were collated to outline how provision could be better facilitated. Results Access to NRT varied across study settings and in some instances proved impossible for patients to access. Difficulty in access was irrespective of a diagnosis of severe mental ill health. Where NRT was provided, this was not always provided in accordance with NICE guidelines. Conclusions Availability of smoking cessation support, and NRT provision would benefit from being made clearer, simpler and more easily accessible so as to enhance smoking cessation rates.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Simon Gilbody

Prof. Simon Gilbody

University of York - Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group

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