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Quitting smoking especially difficult for select groups
Date:2/12/2010

WASHINGTON With the national trend toward quitting smoking flat, psychologists are finding some success with treatments aimed at helping smokers from underserved groups, including racial and ethnic minorities and those with psychiatric disorders.

In a special section of this month's issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, researchers report on several effective treatments that may help these smokers in an effort to increase national smoking cessation rates. The percentage of American smokers rose from 19.8 percent in 2007 to 20.6 percent in 2008, after a 10-year steady decline in smoking rates, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"One of the reasons smoking rates have remained stagnant is because these underserved groups of smokers have not been adequately targeted by research and treatment," said the special section editor, Belinda Borrelli, PhD, who is with the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Brown University Medical School. Underserved smokers include those who have a 10 percent higher smoking rate than the general population, have less access to treatments, and are more likely to be excluded from long-term treatments trials, according to Borelli.

In one article, researchers found that success in stopping smoking differed for different psychiatric disorders. For example, compared to smokers with no psychiatric disorders, smokers who had an anxiety disorder were less likely to quit smoking six months after treatment.

In the same article, researchers found that people's barriers to quitting were directly related to what type of psychiatric disorder they had. For example, smokers who had ever been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder reported a strong emotional bond with their cigarettes while smokers ever diagnosed with a substance use disorder reported that social and environme
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Contact: Audrey Hamilton
ahamilton@apa.org
202-336-5706
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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