Quitting Smoking Easier When Treated Alongside PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments have been responsible for helping many veterans and their family members. A new study found along with all the benefits PTSD therapy offers, for those veterans who smoke, combining PTSD therapy with therapy to stop smoking is much more effective than smoking cessation therapy alone.

The VA arbitrarily assigned 943 veterans suffering from PTSD who smoked into two therapy groups. The first group was provided mental health care and were given direction to the local VA smoking cessation clinic. The second group was given PTSD therapy tightly incorporated with smoking cessation therapy; both administered by VA mental health counselors. Researchers found those veterans given the integrated care quit smoking at a rate of two times as often as those simply referred to VA cessation clinics.

Researchers followed up with the test subjects over a total of 48 months between the years 2004 and 2009. For those veterans who received the incorporated therapy, almost 9% quit smoking for at least 12 months. Those veterans who did not receive the integrated treatment, only 4.5% quit for at least 12 months.

More people with mental health issues smoke tobacco than the general population. Smoking is often seen as a coping mechanism, and many feel quitting can do more damage than good. This study paves the road for future research seeking to treat both of these issues at the same time. Now it is known there is the possibility of hope and sometimes, that is all that is needed to get some to take the first step towards seeking help.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.