Evaluation and monitoring of tobacco control strategies in the mental health units of Catalonia


The prevalence of smoking in developed countries is decreasing over the years; however, it remains stable in the population of people with mental disorders, who also smokes more cigarettes per day than the general population. Patients with severe mental disorders can die up to 20 years before the general population, usually due to diseases caused or worsened by tobacco. Although the prevalence of smokers in hospital mental health units can reach up to 80%, smoking has been a topic usually neglected by professionals in this field.


1) To characterize tobacco control strategies implemented in the mental health units of Catalonia (hospital and outpatient) and to compare these data with the results of 10 years ago.

2) To objectively assess the levels of environmental tobacco smoke in mental health hospital units and to compare them with the results of 10 years ago, after the entry into force of the law prohibiting smoking in mental health centres.

3) To evaluate tobacco use and attitudes regarding use of tobacco in the field of mental health by patients and workers of mental health wards, and to compare them with the results of 10 years ago (see the previous study)


For objective 1, an electronic questionnaire with the variables of interest will be sent to all managers directly in charge of hospital wards and day centres in Catalonia (n = 192). For objective 2, the environmental concentration of ultrafine particles (PM2.5) will be measured as a marker of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) (n = 67). Finally, for objective 3 a brief questionnaire will be administered to patients (minimum n = 600) and professionals (minimum n = 600) in the same centres. All this information will be compared with that of the previous study conducted 10 years ago using the same methodology.


3 years (January 2019 – January 2022)


Instituto Carlos III FIS PI18/ 01148 (59.290,00 €)

Research Team

Montse Ballbè (IP). (ICO-IDIBELL)

Esteve Fernández. (ICO-IDIBELL)

Yolanda Castellano. (ICO-IDIBELL)

Josep Maria Suelves. (Departament de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya)

Esteve Saltó. (Departament de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya)

Collaborating researchers.

Laura Antón. (ICO-IDIBELL)

Antoni Gual. (Hospital Clínic de Barcelona)


Previous research: Evaluation of second-hand smoke levels in mental health inpatients units