Tobacco use and resultant health complications disproportionately impact individuals with psychiatric disorders. Inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations provide an opportunity to initiate tobacco treatment. In this study, electronic medical record review identified demographic and clinical information, smoking status, and tobacco cessation treatment offered for adults hospitalized on two acute, non-smoking psychiatric units in Massachusetts from January 2016 to March 2018. We additionally conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 inpatient nursing, psychiatry, psychology and social work providers regarding their tobacco cessation treatment practices and perceived facilitators and barriers to addressing tobacco use on psychiatric inpatient units. Chart review identified 1099 of 3140 (35%) people admitted reporting daily tobacco smoking. On discharge, 5 (0.005%) of inpatient smokers received a prescription for varenicline, 43 (0.04%) for dual-nicotine replacement therapy, 211 (19.2%) for nicotine patch, and 5 (0.005%) for bupropion. Barriers to inpatient smoking cessation treatment initiation identified in qualitative interviews included: 1) smoking cessation as low priority, 2) smoking cessation as the responsibility of outpatient providers, 3) lack of education about tobacco treatment, and 4) treatment discussions framed as preventing withdrawal. Given the potential to impact a large percentage of psychiatric tobacco users, future interventions should investigate provision of tobacco cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy in inpatient settings, with interventions that take into account the barriers and opportunities presented in this study.
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