Stichting tot Steun and ZonMw have awarded Marcel Adriaanse (Health Sciences, VU) and Berno van Meijel (VUmc-GGZ inGeest/InHolland/Parnassia Groep) a joint grant of 510.000€ for research into smoking cessation among people with serious mental illness.

People with serious mental illness (SMI) smoke more often compared to the general population. Smoking is the leading cause of early death (15-25 years) of people with SMI, primarily due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases that occur as a result of smoking. A smoking cessation program is important to reduce this health gap in people with SMI.

Current smoking cessation programs have not yet been sufficiently tested for effectiveness among this target group in the Netherlands. The aforementioned partners will therefore evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of a smoking cessation program in comparison with the usual care in people with SMI. The intervention includes pharmacological treatment combined with behavioral and peer support provided by trained mental health nurses. The program lasts one year and is carried out by ambulatory treatment teams in specialist mental health care. The aim of the program is to reduce the number of people who smoke and to reduce the allied health problems. The total duration of the research project is 4 years and starts early 2020. The results are expected in 2023.