The Correlation between Levels of Coping with Stress and Attitude Towards Smoking in Patients with Schizophrenia
OBJECTIVE This is a descriptive study to determine smoking prevalence rates in a convenience sample of patients with schizophrenia and to describe clinical/demographic variables for nicotine use in this population. METHOD Patients with schizophrenia were consecutively invited to answer a standard clinical/demographic questionnaire and a questionnaire on smoking habits (Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire). RESULTS Eighty-three patients were interviewed. The smoking rate was 57.8% (n = 48). Male (68.8%) patients smoked more than females did (31.3%; p = 0.081). Compared to patients who smoked at the time of disease onset, those who only started smoking after disease onset had a lower mean age at the time of disease onset [24 years old (SD = +/- 6.8) vs.19 years old (SD = +/- 3.9; p = 0.041)]. Patients who preferred high-nicotine content cigarettes (p < 0.01) had higher frequency of smoking inhalation (p < 0.05) and had more urgency to smoke the first cigarette in the morning (p < 0.05). Twenty-seven (56.3%) of smoking patients were heavy smokers (FTQ > or =8). CONCLUSIONS Patients with schizophrenia in our convenience sample smoked in a higher rate compared to the general population in Brazil. Smoking patients were heavy smokers evaluated by the Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire.