BACKGROUND: Youth with psychiatric disorders are at increased risk of tobacco use. Outpatient mental health settings have received little investigation for delivering tobacco treatment. This study obtained formative data to guide development of a tobacco cessation program for transitional age youth with co-occurring psychiatric disorders with a focus on outpatient mental health settings. METHODS: Applying qualitative methods, we analyzed transcripts from interviews with 14 mental health clients (aged 16-23) and 8 mental health providers. RESULTS: The youth identified internal (nicotine addiction and mood), social, parental, and media influences to their use of tobacco. Providers' viewed youth tobacco use as a normative developmental process, closely tied to management of psychiatric symptoms, supported by parents, and of lower priority relative to youth alcohol and illicit drug use. Youth and providers believed that clinicians can do more to address tobacco use in practice and emphasized nonjudgmental support and nondirective approaches. Top recommended quitting strategies, however, differed notably for the youth (cold turkey, support from friends, physical activity, hobbies) and providers (cessation pharmacotherapy, cessation groups, treatment referrals). CONCLUSIONS: Mental health providers' greater prioritization of other substances and view of youth smoking as developmentally normative and a coping strategy for psychopathology are likely contributing to the general lack of attention to tobacco use currently. Integrating care within mental health settings would serve to reach youth in an arena where clinical rapport is already established, and study findings suggest receptivity for system improvements. Of consideration, however, is the apparent disconnect between provider and youth recommended strategies for supporting cessation.
View details for DOI 10.1093/ntr/nts343
View details for Web of Science ID 000322093700012
View details for PubMedID 23322765