Published: 03-04-2020 11:19 | Updated: 06-04-2020 11:46

Project on tobacco cessation on prescription receives grant from The National Board of Health and Welfare

The National Board of Health and Welfare annually distributes grants for research aimed at mental illness prevention and treatment of habits of living. This year, the research project “Tobaksavvänjning på recept” (Tobacco Cessation on Prescription) receives 2,3 MSEK.

Tanja Tomson Associate Professor of Public Health sciences at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, and head of the research group Prevention-Policy & Practice (PPP), is leading the research project.

Congratulations Tanja! Can you tell me a little more?

"Tobacco cessation on prescription is a method of treatment in line with the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare's new guidelines for prevention and treatment of unhealthy living habits. The method consists of counselling on tobacco for at least 10 minutes, individualized written prescription of treatment for tobacco cessation, and follow-up on at least one occasion.”

How is the method designed?

“The content has been designed based on feedback from stakeholders in the tobacco sector, including patients, healthcare providers and representatives from professional associations against tobacco.”
What is the purpose of the development work?
“The aim is to reduce the incidence of tobacco use among adult patients with mental illness or risk of mental illness who visit primary healthcare in Region Stockholm.”

What are the expected results?

“Tobacco use is more prevalent among people with mental illness. What we have noticed is that these persons have similar motivation to stop using tobacco as other groups in society. If primary healthcare's work on tobacco cessation can be strengthened, the likelihood of this target group having access to treatment increases and thus reduces its addiction.”

How do you proceed?

“Some of the implementation strategies that will be used are the development of local procedures for tobacco cessation, training of healthcare providers in tobacco cessation and the treatment method Tobacco cessation on prescription and integration of the prescription form in the journal system. Surveys and interviews with healthcare providers and managers may also be considered to identify factors that influence the implementation of the treatment method.”

The project is carried out in collaboration with representatives from Region Stockholm, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and other relevant actors, including primary healthcare providers.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19” since the risk of "transmission of virus from hand to mouth increases greatly". Smoking impairs the immune system and damages the structure of airways which could potentially increase the risk of serious illness.


Tanja Tomson Principal Researcher