Tailored Tobacco Treatment in Behavioral Health Settings

Why address tobacco use among people living with behavioral health challenges?  

Tobacco use persists as an addictive behavior affecting people living with mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and other addictions. Although tobacco control research and practice has made incredible strides in reducing the tobacco use prevalence in the general population, these gains have not been adequately realized by those living with mental illnesses and other behavioral health challenges. These populations continue to use tobacco products at rates that are twice the general population and have disproportionate morbidity and mortality associated with such use. Without addressing this issue, people with behavioral health challenges are further hindered in their process of recovery from physical and mental illnesses, as well as other addictions.  

The good news is that tobacco use, although a chronic addictive behavior, is treatable. Provided here are tailored approaches for those with behavioral health challenges to optimize their success in stopping tobacco use.


Tailored tobacco treatment educational materials are available to health professionals who are working with individuals living with mental and behavioral health challenges who want to quit smoking and using other nicotine products. 

The Tobacco Dependence Clinic's 8-week program is based on the transtheoretical model of change. It focuses on moving people from contemplation to action and provides the tools for maintaining change. The weeks can be broken down into three subsections: developing awareness, making a plan, and sustaining change. For the full manuals, see the facilitator and participant guides linked below. 

Check out these resources and referrals to treatment related to quitting tobacco use. Referrals include American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking program, Natioanl Cancer Institute's 24/7 tobacco quitline, and UK's Tobacco Treatment Specialist Graduate Certificate program.

BH WELL's own self-paced tobacco-use treatment program with 8 modules. The modules include: Balancing Your Decision, Knowing Your Triggers, Starting to Plan, Coping with Withdrawal, Managing Emotions, Healthy Living, Staying Positive and Supportive, and Relapse Prevention.