Mental health professionals (MHPs) play an important role in treating patients with nicotine addiction. However, data on MHPs’ cigarette smoking habits are scarce. This survey aimed to collect such data and to examine the correlates of smoking among MHPs working in China.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in all 41 provincial, tertiary psychiatric hospitals, and MHPs from these hospitals were targeted. An anonymous questionnaire was designed to collect socio-demographic and occupational factors, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Service Survey was used to assess burnout. Data about smoking and other health behaviors were also collected.
In total, 13,614 MHPs were included in the analysis. The overall rate of current smoking was 8.6% (31.3% in males, and 1.1% in females). A substantial proportion (28.0%) of life-time smokers had abstained for more than 3 months. Those who were male (OR=37.73), older (OR=1.02), divorced or widowed (OR=1.72), working in West (OR=1.45), and Northeast China (OR=1.65), were nurses (OR=1.44), had a high income (OR=1.31), experienced burnout (OR=1.29), frequent insomnia (OR=1.39), and used alcohol (OR=2.76) were significantly more likely to be smokers, while those who had a higher level of education (OR=0.67, 0.47, and 0.43 for college, master, and doctorate degrees, respectively), and exercised regularly (OR=0.73) were significantly less likely to be smokers.
Although lower than that of the general population in China, smoking is still relatively high among MPHs. Efforts to lower smoking rates among MHPs in China should continue and should incorporate strategies that target burnout, sleep, alcohol use, exercise and other factors associated with smoking.

Copyright © 2020 Xia, Jiang, Rakofsky, Zhang, Zhang, Liu, Liu, Liu and Tang.