March 3, 2006
Contact: Jerry Carey
Phone: (856) 566-6171
Researchers Receive Grant to Assess Tobacco Use Among
Individuals with Mental Illness
PISCATAWAY—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded a $99,000 grant to support research at UMDNJ’s School of Public Health that will examine tobacco use among the mentally ill.
"People with mental disorders are twice as likely to smoke as other persons, and their smoking rates increase with the severity of their illness," said Dr. Cristine Delnevo, associate professor at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health and the principal investigator for the study. "Even though this is one of the largest segments of the smoking population, there's been a paucity of research into the tobacco use behaviors of people with mental disorders and what, if any, strategies are effective in reducing smoking in this population."
Dr. Delnevo’s research will seek to identify the demographics of tobacco users with mental illness and examine whether this group is particularly resistant to cessation.
"We'll be trying to determine if individuals with mental disorders are more heavily addicted, as well as if evidence-based tobacco control policies, like clean indoor air laws and physician advice to quit, are actually effective in reducing smoking in this particular population," Dr. Delnevo said. "Finding these answers will have a significant impact on public policy and on programs designed to eliminate tobacco use in our society."
Funding for this 18-month study comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Substance Abuse Policy Research Program. The grant was awarded to the Foundation of UMDNJ.
To request an interview with Dr. Delnevo, please contact Jerry Carey, University News Service, at (856) 566-6171 or (973) 972-3000.