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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness


Helping the mentally ill quit smoking

Those with mental illness tend to smoke more, and have a harder time quitting. But new efforts are underway to help them stop

The first time she tried to stop smoking, April Vargas pulled off the nicotine patch she had been wearing for less than an hour and lit a cigarette. On the second attempt, she tossed her tobacco in a dumpster. She was smoking again the next day.

To a longtime smoker, Vargas’s struggle to quit might sound familiar. But the 52-year-old from Worcester may have added factors working against her: She has severe anxiety and depression.

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