Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the US. Despite overall declines in smoking, more people with mental illness smoke than people without mental illness. Because many people with mental illness smoke, many of them will get sick and die early from smoking.
Recent research has shown that, like other smokers, adults with mental illness who smoke want to quit, can quit, and benefit from proven stop-smoking treatments. Some mental health providers and facilities have made progress in this area, while others are now beginning to address tobacco use. The 2006 Surgeon General's Report found that smoke-free policies reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and help smokers quit. Mental health facilities can benefit by making their campuses 100% smoke-free and by making stopping tobacco use part of an overall approach to treatment and wellness. It is critical that people with mental illness get the mental health services they need and are able to get help to quit smoking to improve their overall health and wellness.
*For this report, mental illness is defined as a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, other than a developmental or substance abuse disorder.
Smokers who quit have immediate health benefits.
Adults with mental illness who smoke want to and are able to quit.
More attention is needed to help people with mental illness quit smoking.
Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009-2011, Adults ages 18 or older