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Nicotine dependence in community-dwelling Chinese patients with schizophrenia
  1. Yan Li1,
  2. Cai-Lan Hou2,
  3. Xin-Rong Ma3,
  4. Yu Zang4,
  5. Fu-Jun Jia2,
  6. Kelly Y C Lai5,
  7. Gabor S Ungvari6,
  8. Chee H Ng7,
  9. Mei-Ying Cai8 and
  10. Yu-Tao Xiang9
  1. 1 The National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders & Beijing Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, Beijing Anding Hospital & the Advanced Innovation Center for Human Brain Protection, Capital Medical University, School of Mental Health, Beijing, China
  2. 2 Guangdong Mental Health Center, Guangdong General Hospital and Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China
  3. 3 Ningxia Mental Health Center, Ningxia Ning-An Hospital, Ningxia, China
  4. 4 Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Psychological Healthcare, Shenzhen Institute of Mental Health, Shenzhen Kangning Hospital & Shenzhen Mental Health Center, Shenzhen, China
  5. 5 Department of Psychiatry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  6. 6 The University of Notre Dame Australia/Marian Centre, Perth, Australia
  7. 7 Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  8. 8 Guangzhou Yuexiu Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangdong, China
  9. 9 Unit of Psychiatry, Institute of Translational Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macao SAR, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yu-Tao Xiang; xyutly{at}; Dr Fu-Jun Jia; jiafujun{at}


Background Smoking is a serious public health problem. Patients with schizophrenia usually have a higher prevalence of smoking than the general population, but the level of nicotine dependence is seldom studied, especially for patients living in the communities.

Aims This study aimed to examine the level of nicotine dependence in Chinese community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia and explored its associated sociodemographic and clinical factors.

Methods A total of 621 patients with schizophrenia treated in the primary care centres of Guangzhou were consecutively recruited. The level of nicotine dependence was assessed with the Chinese version of the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND).

Results 148 patients with schizophrenia were current smokers, and the mean (SD) score of FTND was 5.06 (2.55) for all the current smokers. The prevalence of nicotine addiction was 48.0% (95% CI: 40.0%-56.0%) in patients with current smoking. The patients with schizophrenia had a significantly higher level of nicotine dependence than the Chinese general population. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that male gender, being unemployed, having a family history of psychiatric disorders, having major medical conditions, first illness episode and less severe positive symptoms were significantly associated with a higher level of nicotine dependence.

Conclusion Community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia in China, especially male patients, had a higher level of nicotine dependence than the general population.

  • schizophrenia
  • nicotine dependence
  • community
  • china

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  • YL, C-LH, X-RM and YZ contributed equally.

  • Contributors Study design: YL, Y-TX. Data collection and analyses: YL, C-LH, X-RM, YZ, M-YC. Drafting the manuscript: YL, F-JJ, KYCL, Y-TX. Critical revision: GSU, CHN. Approval of the manuscript: all authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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