Psychiatrists to lead smoking cessation education

31 May 2021

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is pleased to partner with the Federal Government to develop training resources for psychiatrists and other medical professionals in nicotine cessation.

RANZCP President, Associate Professor Vinay Lakra, welcomed the Government’s announcement, emphasising the importance of educating and training practitioners in smoking cessation and tobacco minimisation.

‘With today being World No Tobacco Day, now is the perfect time to re-invigorate our efforts towards reducing the smoking rates in Australia’, said Associate Professor Lakra.

‘We are proud to be a part of this renewed effort to equip medical professionals with in-depth training and education on smoking cessation and tobacco minimisation.

‘This is especially important for those living with mental illness as there is a significant disparity in smoking prevalence between the general population (20%) and the mental health population (32%).

‘People living with mental illness are more likely to smoke tobacco and smoke more heavily than the general population, resulting in poorer health and mortality outcomes.

‘Smoking cessation and tobacco harm reduction is an essential component of any framework that aims to improve health outcomes for people who smoke tobacco.’

Chair of the RANZCP Faculty of Addiction Psychiatry, Dr Shalini Arunogiri, emphasised the importance of tobacco harm reduction education and training.

‘Nicotine dependence is associated with significant physical and mental health morbidity, and is the leading preventable cause of death in people living with mental illness. Helping people quit smoking is part of core work for psychiatrists’, said Dr Arunogiri.

‘This funding will allow us to work together with psychiatrists, other medical professionals and pharmacists to provide them with national best practice support and evidence-based resources for nicotine cessation.

‘We look forward to working with the Federal Government in working towards the goal of reduced tobacco use and smoking cessation both within the mental health and general populations.’

For more information and for all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 437 315 911, or email